To be the best caregiver possible, it’s crucial that you take care of yourself. One of the first types of self-care many caregivers start to neglect is their own nutrition. It may be tempting to fill up on cheap and easy junk food when you’re tired and overwhelmed, but this can end up causing problems in the future. These nutrition strategies can help you feel full and energized so you can take care of your senior loved one.
Eat Unprocessed Foods
Whenever possible, try to eat foods made directly from whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables, lean meat, and seafood. Most processed foods like frozen dinners or prepackaged sides are loaded with saturated fats, added sugars, and excessive sodium that can cause a variety of health issues. Switching to less processed options can be as simple as snacking on nuts instead of chips or having fruit for a treat instead of ice cream. It can take time to get used to this style of eating, but it can be a huge help for those who find it challenging to maintain a healthy weight.
Family caregivers don’t have to risk their own wellbeing to make sure their loved ones continue to receive high-quality care. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Coral Gables, FL, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Cook Meals in Advance
If you want to enjoy home-cooked meals every day even if you’re short on time, try making simple recipes in bulk sizes, then divide them into portions to freeze. When it’s time to eat, you can easily thaw a healthy, nutritious meal. This style of eating does take a big chunk of time, since you have to spend an hour or two cooking on the weekend, but it ends up saving you plenty of time in the long run and ensures you get a well-balanced diet without having to sacrifice nutrition for the convenience of premade junk food.
Family caregivers are often at high risk for burnout, and hiring a home caregiver can provide a much-needed source of support. When you search for a professional caregiver, you’re looking for someone with experience in senior care who’s compassionate and trustworthy. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide home care services. Coral Gables families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
Never Drink Your Calories
Most sodas and juices are essentially just liquid sugar. Caregivers who drink sweetened tea, soda, or juice each day end up alternating between blood sugar spikes and crashes that leave them feeling distracted, jittery, and fatigued. Instead, try drinking water or sip water flavored with herbal tea or a squeeze of fresh citrus juice so you feel refreshed and hydrated without packing on the pounds.
Eat When You Can
Many caregivers get hung up on the idea of eating three evenly sized meals a day at typical times. However, the busy caregiver schedule often makes this a major challenge, so caregivers just end up frustrated and angry when they don’t have time for their regular meals. Being more flexible with mealtimes can cut back on a lot of these annoyances. Many caregivers find it easier to switch to an intermittent fasting schedule where they skip breakfast and just have one big meal in the late afternoon, while others find it easier to have multiple small snacks throughout the day instead.
It’s crucial for family caregivers to take good care of themselves, and if you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed by your caregiving responsibilities, you don’t have to manage everything all on your own. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Coral Gables in-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at 1 (305) 964-5636 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.