As a caregiver, you may find yourself with so many responsibilities that you neglect taking care of yourself. But the best thing you can do for the person you are caring for is stay physically and emotionally strong.
See the doctor
Visit your physician regularly, and listen to what your body is
telling you. Exhaustion, stress, sleeplessness, or changes in appetite
or behavior should be taken seriously.
Exercise is an important part of staying healthy — it can help
relieve stress, prevent disease and make you feel good. But finding the
time to exercise is another story.
- Take friends and family members up on their offers to help.
You can get in a good workout in a short amount of time — even a 30 minute break.
- Start small.
While it is recommended that you get 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week, even 10 minutes a day can help.
- Exercise at home.
Pull out a yoga mat and stretch, set up a stationary bike, or try exercise tapes.
- Find something you love.
If you enjoy the activity, it will be easier to make it a habit.
Heart-healthy eating patterns are good for overall health and may
help protect the brain. Aim for a diet which includes relatively little
red meat and emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts,
olive oil and other healthy fats.
- Manage your level of stress.
Consider how stress affects your body (stomach aches, high blood
pressure) — and your emotions (overeating, irritability). Find ways to
- Give yourself credit, not guilt.
It’s normal to lose patience or feel like your care may fall short sometimes. You’re doing the best you can.
- Take a break.
Everyone needs a break from caregiving duties. No one can do it all by
themselves. Look into respite care to allow time to take care of you.
We Can Help
Caregiving can be overwhelming, but you aren’t alone. The Alzheimer’s Association is here to help.
- Call our 24/7 Helpline: 800.272.3900
- Locate a support group in your area online at www.alz.org/idaho
- Sign up to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s or The Longest
Day to help find prevention, treatment or a cure for this terrible
disease. Visit our website for registration information.