Reminders to Care for YOU
As a caregiver, you may feel overwhelmed with all the new changes you and your loved one are facing. It may be easy for you to forget to care for yourself because you are spending all of your time caring for your loved one!
The extreme stress and time commitment to caring for a stroke survivor can negatively affect your physical or mental health. It is important to prevent this and take time out of your busy day to care for yourself. This will prevent help eliminate stress and prevent caregiver burnout and illness of your own.
If you do not care for yourself and get sick, who is going to take your place in caring for the stroke survivor?
These are things that you can do to keep yourself happy and healthy and to prevent or minimize stress.
- Ask your physician about taking a daily multi-vitamin supplement.
- Try to take 30 minutes to exercise daily; consult your physician before starting any new exercise.
- Get regular check-ups at your healthcare provider.
- Take some time weekly away from being a caregiver, go do something you enjoy.
- Get your yearly flu shot and if you are over 60 years of age get your pneumococcal vaccine
- Stay involved with friends and family.
- Find a hobby that you can do at home that you enjoy.
- Visit the dentist every 6 months for a check-up and cleaning, if you are able.
- Look for any signs of depression in your-self.
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lack of energy and fatigue
- Inability to sleep or sleep too much
- Loss of interest
- Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, and worthlessness
- Suicidal thoughts
- Appetite and weight changes
- Join a support group either in your local area or online (see below).
- Hire someone, if you can or ask friends and family members, to help you with chores around the house.
- Keep your check book and finances in order and up to date.
- If something is bothering you talk to someone (close family or friends, healthcare provider, clergy, etc.) about it
- Try to get 8 hours of sleep a night.
- Make sure to eat a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables
- 1 ½- 2 cups of fruit daily.
- 2-3 cups of vegetables daily.
- 3-4 ounces of grains daily.
- 5- 6 ½ ounces of protein or meats daily.
- 3 cups of diary daily.
- Limit your daily intake of sweets, fats, sodas, and oils.
You can join a support group either online, or in your hometown. Here is a web site to help you with finding the right choice for you. Visit these web sites for more information.
The Family Caregiver. (2012). Reach out for help. Retrieved from http://www.thefamilycaregiver.org/improving_caregiving/reach_out_for_help.cfm
United States Department of Agriculture. (2012). Choose my plate. Retrieved from http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/
Helpguide.org. (2012). Depression in women. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_women.htm
Developed in 2012 by Jennifer Ash RN, BSN at the University of Toledo for the Caring~Web©.