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Caregivers, Please Take Care of Yourselves…Here’s How

17 April 2024

Assisted Living & Memory Care in Cartersville GA  
Caregivers, Please Take Care of Yourselves…Here’s How - Cartersville, GA

Greetings once again from your Manor Lake Cartersville Assisted Living and Memory Care community here in Cartersville, GA. We manage our assisted living and memory care blog as a labor of love for all those who care for our local seniors and memory care dependents. Yes, we are in the business to provide safe and nurturing professional care services, but we celebrate all of you who care for loved ones at home. We know you and your struggles better than you might think. By helping you with our blog production, we hope to improve your quality of life while simultaneously demonstrating our care, knowledge, and professionalism. We want to make a difference for you now when you might not need us full-time. We know, we’ll make a difference when the time comes to transition to full-time professional assisted living and/or memory care.

There are things you can do to prevent caregiver burnout and support your own wellbeing.

Create a Support Network

It’s essential to build your support network early in your caregiving role. Look for support groups offered through local hospitals, libraries, area agencies on aging, senior centers, and mental health advocacy organizations. Through these groups, you will find helpful resources, guidance for dealing with difficult situations, and the invaluable insights of those who have already navigated caregiving challenges.

Ask for Help

Knowing where to find, and having access to support is not the same as asking for help. If you are overwhelmed, showing signs of caregiver stress (see below), then you must put ego aside and ask for the help you need. Your loved one’s medical provider or patient advocate from a local hospital or support group is a good place to start.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is not only for people who meditate. You can learn to bring mindfulness strategies into daily life—from folding laundry to walking the dog. You can also cultivate a formal mindfulness practice, which has been shown to significantly reduce stress, chronic pain, and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Many community programs such as yoga studios, parks and recreation, YMCA/YWCA offer mindfulness groups or look for a mindfulness-based stress reduction program for caregivers offered through a local hospital or medical arts organization.

Self-care is Essential for Caregivers

There are three things caregivers can focus on to maintain their own wellbeing: sleep, balanced nourishment, and daily physical movement. Sleep is essential to overall health and wellbeing. During sleep, the body recovers, heals, and develops innate resources to support how we live, work and play during waking hours. One sure sign that you are getting sufficient sleep is waking up feeling refreshed and restored. If you don’t wake up most mornings feeling this way, then you may want to create a sleep routine. A healthy sleep routine includes going to bed and waking at the same time each day; using room darkening curtains; lowering the room temperature; and not using digital devices in the bedroom with the hour before going to sleep.

Balanced nourishment means including a variety of real, whole foods in your diet—and enjoying sweets and treats in moderation If you eat mostly packaged and boxed foods, your body is not taking in the vitamins and minerals and fuel nutrients (carbs, protein, healthy fats) that it needs for optimal function. Without a balanced diet, you will feel the effects of stress more sharply and you are likely to throw-off your sleep routine, which compounds stress. If you need some guidance on healthy eating to support your caregiver role, local hospitals and wellness centers usually offer nutrition workshops.

Physical Movement – While vigorous physical activity a few times a week is ideal, it may not be realistic for you as a caregiver to get 3 or 4 workouts in a week. Instead, aim for daily physical movement that gets your heart rate up for 30 minutes. This can be a walk, bike ride, working in a garden, yoga, taking a fitness class, or turning on music and dancing in your living room. Movement releases hormones that help support a positive mood, strengthens, and tones the body, and helps relieve stress. Find something you enjoy and move every day!

Know the Warning Signs of Caregiver Stress

The stress of caregiving puts the caregiver at risk for health problems such as burnout, anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, headache, sleep disturbances, and relationship tension. If you are experiencing symptoms such as these, it is imperative to seek support and medical guidance so that you can recover your wellbeing and continue to be of support to your loved one.

You have access to premier quality assisted living and memory care services right here at Manor Lake Cartersville Assisted Living and Memory Care in Cartersville, GA. Come visit or send questions to us anytime!