Take Care to Give Care—this is the overarching theme for this year’s National Family Caregivers Month. Caregivers typically have quite a bit on their plate and this November, we’re reminding these dedicated professionals and family members of the importance of taking time to take care of themselves, too. Here are a few ways caregivers can tend to their own needs, in turn helping them take even better care of those that count on them.

Take Regular Breaks

Breaks have been shown to improve productivity and our ability to focus on the task at hand. In caregiving, this can mean a life-saving difference. Caregivers should make it a priority to schedule breaks throughout the day to not only allow their bodies to rest, but also give their minds a reprieve. This will help them get back to work refreshed, recharged and ready to take on the rest of the day.

Get Moving

Staying active is incredibly important, not just for our bodies but for our mental wellbeing as well. For caregivers especially, a regular exercise routine can help improve strength, stamina and ability to provide a high level of care. Whether it’s a walk, run, yoga or whatever other form of exercise, be sure to get moving every single day. Strapped for time? Go for a short walk during your breaks and take care of two important needs in one go.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Food is fuel, we all know that. Yet, how often do we find ourselves grabbing fast food or another less than nutritious option as a quick meal solution? This way of eating is not only unhealthy but also not sustainable, and not nourishing your body in the proper way is sure to lead to negative effects down the road. For caregivers with busy schedules, meal planning is a great way to ensure you always have healthy, nutritious options available throughout the day.

Enjoy Your Social Life

Whether caregivers are caring for a family member, loved one or patient, their selfless nature can often mean their own social lives may be affected. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Caregivers should make time to enjoy outings and activities with friends, significant others and family members. Being in the company of those closest to them, and this sometimes includes the person who they are caring for, can turn a challenging day into a positive, rewarding experience.

Do you have any other tips for caregivers of persons with disabilities? Be sure to share them with us on our Facebook and Twitter.

The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a handicap accessible car, truck or van, please consider one of our Quality Assurance Program mobility equipment dealers.

3 responses to “Self-Care for Caregivers during National Family Caregivers Month

  1. I’m on a fixed income and can’t afford the entire price of a mini van that will carry my electric wheelchair. I had shoulder surgery and I’m not supposed to be using my manual wheelchair to get around, but have no way to go out of house with electric wheelchair. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you, Linda Spencer

  2. Thank you for the helpful information. However, it’s pretty “standard” information if someone has been a caregiver even for a short time. It would be helpful to have more realistic, hands on ideas – and also PLEASE do not forget those who may be unpaid family caregivers AND caregivers of those who may be in an out of home placement. In those cases, the caregiver may be working full time, finding it necessary to stop to visit their loved ones on the way to work, stopping on the way home, take care of administrative details for the loved ones at home while trying to maintain the household. Thank you for your consideration.

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