Family caregivers who ignore their own needs in favor of their aging loved ones won’t stay healthy and happy for long. Because caring for an elderly relative can take a lot of time and energy, family caregivers need to focus on themselves and their own health once in a while. One area that is often neglected when life gets busy is regular exercise. Exercise keeps the body fit and the mind free of stress—both important factors in being a good family caregiver.
Obstacles to Regular Exercise
Taking care of an aging loved one often requires a myriad of daily tasks—getting them out of bed, showering, dressing and grooming. Other daily tasks include medication management, finances, housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation, transporting them to appointments and even keeping them entertained. They often have no time to do the things they need to maintain their physical and mental health. Worry, frustration, exhaustion and more can all lead to anxiety and depression, which often prevents family caregivers from pursuing exercise.
Benefits of Exercise for Family Caregivers
Being a family caregiver brings rewards, certainly, but it is very easy for family caregivers to grow stressed. However, a good stress management plan should include exercise. Exercise can do a lot for family caregivers, especially when it comes to managing stress. Of course, exercise is good for the body, boosting weight loss, energy levels, strength and stamina. Exercise also keeps the immune system, digestion, and circulation strong. Without regular exercise, many family caregivers are in poor health, making it harder for them to provide care.
Making Exercise a Priority
Family caregivers can’t really commit to regular exercise unless they have some time to themselves, without the needs of their aging loved one getting in the way. Many family caregivers hire in-home care providers to come to the house and look after the senior, tending to their needs and being a companion. This type of respite is invaluable to family caregivers who are seeking some time of their own to do whatever they need to. With a home care provider, family caregivers can find time to exercise and reap all the benefits.
Not only will the home care provider be able to look after the aging adult, but they can also help out with keeping the house tidy. From laundry and sweeping to unloading the dishwasher, home care providers help family caregivers out by assisting them in keeping the aging adult’s abode clean and orderly. When a home care provider is around, family caregivers shouldn’t have guilty feelings about taking some time to themselves to exercise and reduce their stress levels with physical activity.
It’s hard to make exercise a priority, even for people who are not family caregivers. However, with the help of home care providers, there are opportunities for them to get away a few times per week to focus on their own health, get fit and reduce stress.
If you are considering Elder Care in Westlake, OH, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Four Seasons Home Care today: (440) 716-9100.