November is National Family Caregivers Month. I find this pretty important as I sit at Dear Hubby's hospital bedside. He has been fighting off this illness for a month now. Finally we are here in the hospital working to get it all over with. But for the last month I have felt that I have been his charge nurse, house wife, maid and loving companion all rolled into one. So what do I need to remember to do? Take care of me too! Yeah, one more thing added to the to do list.
Taking care of a loved one starts with taking care of yourself.More than 65 million Americans are currently providing care for a loved one. ¹ But, sometimes caregivers neglect an important step: taking care of themselves.
Protecting the caregiver's own well being, both mentally and physically, is an incredibly important step in the caring process. So in honor of National Family Caregivers and National Hospice Month, UnitedHealthcare has some steps to help make the transition to caregiver.
Get out and enjoy time together:
Go for a walk. Go to a movie. Feed the ducks at a park. Keeping active may relieve stress and can create positive new memories.
A healthy diet can keep you sharp. Stock up on healthy snacks and prepare your own meals. Here are some simple (and delicious) recipes for you and your loved one.
- Chicken Minestrone Soup
- Slow Cooker Hearty Pork Stew
- Easy Chicken Pot Pie
- Pumpkin Smoothies
- Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies
|Educate yourself and your family:|
Particularly for those dealing with advanced illness or end-of-life situations, it's important to prepare yourself and your children. A new activity book, Scarlet Says Goodbye, is one tool to help educate young children with a loved one entering hospice care. The book can be downloaded for free at:www.ScarletSaysGoodBye.com.
|Don't be afraid to ask for help:|
UnitedHealthcare understands that being a caregiver can be an emotionally and financially exhausting experience. UnitedHealthcare designed Solutions for Caregivers* specifically to help alleviate both of these issues. Visit www.WhatIsSolutionsForCaregivers.com to learn about all the resources available, including other great recipes and aid in developing a care plan, built specifically for your situation.
Solutions for Caregivers assists in coordinating community and in-home resources. The final decision about your care arrangements must be made by you. In addition, the quality of a particular provider must be solely determined and monitored by you. Information provided to you about a particular provider does not imply and is in no way an endorsement of that particular provider by Solutions for Caregivers. The information on and the selection of a particular provider has been supplied by the provider and is subject to change without written consent of Solutions for Caregivers.
¹ National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP; November 2009