Being a Healthy Caregiver

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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.

Get moving
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.

Eat well

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 Stress

  • Manage your level of stress.
    Consider how stress affects your body (stomach aches, high blood pressure) — and your emotions (overeating, irritability). Find ways to relax.
  • 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 Helpline800.272.3900
  • 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.

 

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