Care giving is hard. Many caregivers express satisfaction with caring for their loved one and find it very rewarding, but there are often challenges. Family caregivers are often unpaid and may be “on call” 24 hours a day. Providing care to a loved one can be time-consuming, stressful, and may lead to social isolation. Care giving can take a toll on your physical and emotional health. Taking care of yourself is one of the most important – and one of the most forgotten – things you can do as a caregiver.
Take responsibility for your own well-being and make sure that your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met:
- Make sure you are getting adequate sleep.
- Eat a well-balanced diet and don’t skip meals.
- Make time to exercise. Plan it into your daily schedule, even just 10 minutes for a walk.
- Use stress-reduction and relaxation techniques.
- Ask for help. You can’t do it all on your own. Everyone needs a break sometimes.
- Get support. You are not alone. Talk to others who understand.
- Make time for yourself and other relationships.
If you or anyone you know provides care to a loved one on a consistent basis without pay, consider nominating them for the 11th Annual Spirit of Caring Award. All nominees will be invited to the Spirit of Caring Recognition Luncheon hosted by Indiana Regional Medical Center to honor and celebrate caregivers in our community. This event is being held in November, which is National Family Caregiver Month. Nominations are due by October 31, 2017. Please visit www.indianarmc.org/spiritofcaring for more information.