The article below was written by guest author, Harry Cline. Harry is the creator of NewCaregiver.org, and has authored a book titled The A-Z Home Care Handbook: Health Management How-Tos for Senior Caregivers, due out in the near future.
I am hosting this article because I know that there is a lot that goes into being a caregiver. With November being National Alzheimer’s Awareness month, I believe this article is appropriate for my readers. All information and/or suggestions in the article Self-Care for Family Caregivers, belong to its author, Harry Cline of NewCaregiver.org. It is the responsibility of you, the reader, to be responsible for any actions you may take as a result of reading this article. Brenda Wheeler, Brenda Wheeler Ministries, nor Wheeler Et Al, LLC is not responsible for its content. The aforementioned were not offered payment for this article; and the aforementioned did not pay to obtain this article.
Self-Care for Family Caregivers
by Harry Cline, guest author
Estimates suggest that 40 to 70 percent of caregivers have depression symptoms, and about 25 percent may qualify as suffering from a major depressive disorder. That’s why self-care is so vital for family caregivers.
Providing that level of support to a loved one isn’t easy. In some cases, it’s a round-the-clock job, making it seem like there’s little if any time to focus on themselves.
However, it’s possible to find time for self-care. If you’re a family caregiver, Brenda Wheeler Ministries explains the importance of self-care in your life. Below, explore the different ways you can incorporate self-care into your daily routine.
Deep Breathing Exercises
When it comes to stress relief, deep breathing exercises can be surprisingly effective. As a bonus, they are also easy to do practically any time and anywhere, giving you a way to get some level of relief whenever the need arises.
Make Time for Sleep
Sleep is critical for wellness, making it an essential component of self-care. The average adult needs 7.5 to 8.5 hours of sleep nightly, ensuring their body has time to repair tissues, maintain brain health, and otherwise recharge and heal from the stresses of the day.
Ideally, you want to block out slightly more time to ensure you get enough sleep. Typically, it takes a person about 10 to 20 minutes to actually fall asleep, so give yourself a buffer whenever possible.
Find Hobbies You Can Do Together
A hobby can be an excellent form of self-care. It lets you spend time doing activities you enjoy, making it a source of stress relief, recreation, and enjoyment.
If you are struggling to find time for a hobby due to your caregiving responsibilities, look for a new option that you can do with your loved one. Many hobbies work well for seniors with mobility issues, including learning a language, container gardening, and baking.
Alternatively, you could look for a hobby you can do alongside your loved one while they participate in a favorite activity. For example, if they enjoy knitting, you could paint or draw while seated nearby. That way, you can remain close and engage with them regularly, all while you both spend time doing an activity you find relaxing.
Hire Help to Get More Time for Self-Care
One of the main reasons caregivers have trouble prioritizing self-care is simply being pressed for time. Luckily, this is a simple issue to solve. By hiring help in the right areas, you significantly reduce your workload. Plus, you’ll get support from skilled professionals, so you’ll know the job is done right.
Hiring lawn care services can be a great place to start. Often, taking care of a yard takes a lot of time, and it’s incredibly physical, which isn’t always ideal. Usually, homeowners pay between $30 and $80 for lawnmowing, which is pretty affordable. Start by searching on Angi for ‘lawn care near me’ to find someone who can service your immediate area. Just keep in mind extra services – like fertilizing, pruning, and hardscaping – can cost more, so factor that in when you prepare to gather quotes.
Another great option could be grocery or meal delivery services. Often, shopping for food is a cumbersome task, even if you have a list of everything you need. By using a delivery service instead, you create your list online and let someone else handle the product selection. Plus, they’ll bring the items to your home, giving you more time to focus on other responsibilities or self-care activities.