In a recent New York Times Science section, Jane Brody authored “Caring for Family, Caring for Yourself”.
The article cautioned caregivers to pay attention to their own health, as the care-giver life stage can take a heavy toll over time.
Here are a few ideas from the article for taking care of yourself.
- arrange for an evening or afternoon out one or more times a week.
- If it is very difficult to get out, invite people over to talk, knit, play bridge, work on a puzzle, discuss an issue, etc.—anything that may be enjoyably done at home
- Take a small amount of time each day for you…pamper yourself by doing something just for you
- If it is possible, arrange for help or a respite caregiver to come in so you can arrange to get away for a day or a weekend (or longer)
- Factor regular exercise into your caregiving routine. This helps maintain mental and physical stamina. If you cannot get out to do this, bring in indoor workout equipment or make use of exercise videos.
- Eat regular, nutritious meals. Perhaps ask neighbors, caring community committee people from your synagogue to provide a meal one or more times a week.
Brody suggests searching under “caregiver support group” and mentions web sites for: National Family Caregiver’s Association (www.nfcacares.org); Community Action Network: (www.thefamilycaregiver.org); and Family Caregiver Alliance: (www.caregiver.org).