There are a number of reasons people seek out the help of in-home caregivers. Whether living with chronic illness, recovering from surgery, or learning new routines to maintain independence while aging, caregivers offer needed relief for many people, young and old. Many times, the transition to in-home care can be difficult. Our loved ones may feel overwhelmed or defeated with their new circumstances, but with our support and some informed self-care techniques, we can make the transition easier.
Join the AmeriCare team as we explore a few self-care goals for 2021 to help improve the quality of life for our loved ones working to maintain independence.
Embrace Healthy Habits
According to the American Psychological Association, exercising regularly, eating well, avoiding alcohol and drugs, limiting news consumption, and keeping busy are the best coping mechanisms for managing stress. This, of course, is easier said than done, especially when you require additional help from a caregiver.
Let’s approach 2021 with a gentle attitude towards our current habits and focus on making small changes with the help of a caregiver. Work with your loved one and their caregiver to identify some easy and fun ways to live a more healthful lifestyle. Consider:
- Adding a 15-minute walk to your routine, three times a week, or whenever your caregiver is present to help
- Trying one new recipe a week to practice fine motor skills in the kitchen while building stronger relationships with healthy food. Your caregiver can help with groceries and food prep
- Finding new ways to get fresh air – try picking up an easy new outdoor hobby like birdwatching or sketching landscapes that allow you to enjoy the outdoors in short bursts
- Adding gentle stretch to your daily routine with the help of your caregiver. There are many effective stretches that can be done while seated or lying down to make it easier.
Put a Priority on Your Mental Health
The American Psychological Association also explains that loneliness can impact your physical health by raising blood pressure, lowering immune function, and ultimately increasing the risk of mortality. As the new year approaches, work with your loved one and their caregiver to create new ways to stay connected. Consider:
- Working with their caregiver to set up new ways to communicate with friends and loved ones including video chat on platforms like Zoom or Facetime. Schedule a weekly call and stick to it.
- Finding local or remote interest groups that your loved one can participate in either in person or virtually. Look for groups that cater to their interests like book clubs, online film groups, interactive cooking courses, or nature enthusiast groups. The internet is wide-reaching and there are social groups for everyone.
- Limiting news intake to a predetermined number of minutes each day to limit exposure to negative content
- Working with their caregiver to find professional mental health help like support groups, councilors, or therapists
As 2021 approaches, we encourage you and your loved ones to take things slowly. Remember, it was the tortoise that won the race. Be kind to yourselves and make time to take care of you! If you are interested in getting a little extra in-home help for you or a loved one, reach out to your local AmeriCare to find the right fit!