When you are a family caregiver for your elderly loved one, it is easy for all of your focus and attention to be on your aging parent. While it is good for you to put energy and effort into making sure that all of your parent’s needs are met, when that is to the sacrifice of your health and well-being, it can become a serious problem. One of the most important elements of health, and also one of the things that is most often overlooked when a caregiver is busy and overwhelmed, is eating a healthy diet.
If you are not eating a healthy diet, you can suffer from a wide range of potentially serious complications, including diminished mental, emotional, and physical health and well-being. It is easy to overlook this habit, but that can mean that your malnutrition can quickly become serious. Recognizing the signs that you might not be eating healthy enough can help you to take meaningful steps to address this and get healthier for you and for your role as a caregiver.
Some signs that you are not eating a healthy diet include:
• You always feel hungry because you are not getting enough of the true nutrition that your body needs
• You find that you do not drink water, but rely on other beverages such as tea or sports drinks
• You rarely read food labels on what you are eating and do not know basic nutritional information for the foods that you eat
• You do not visit the grocery store very often because you rely heavily on processed foods
• You always seem to be craving sugary foods
• Your body is not functioning well, including digestively
• You think about the calories in the food that you eat, but not the other nutrients, such as fat, carbohydrates, or fiber
• You do not cook but rely heavily on takeout, delivery, or “convenience” foods
If your caregiver efforts have become too much for you to feel that you can handle them successfully, you are dealing with extensive stress, or you simply feel that your aging parent would benefit from more diversification in the care that they receive, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. A home care provider can be with your parent on a schedule that works for their needs as well as your care efforts. This enables the care provider to give your loved one a highly personalized set of services designed to ensure that they receive the care, assistance, support, and encouragement necessary to keep them as safe, healthy, comfortable, happy, and independent as possible throughout their later years. When it comes to helping you care for yourself in your role as a family caregiver, having a care provider can make a tremendous difference. Knowing this care provider is with your senior can enable you to take a step back and focus more energy and attention on your own needs and the other obligations and challenges in your life, reducing your stress and improving your health and well-being.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregivers in Pittsburgh, PA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 201-0712.