Caregivers need….

Caregiving consists of joint relationships focusing only on the needs of care-recipients. Caregivers are the significant but forgotten halves of these alliances. Quality care environments are created by satisfying the needs of caregivers AND care-recipients. In order to provide consistent quality care, caregivers need….

1.) ….dependable emotional support. Caregivers need to voice concerns and discuss emotional well-being. Monotonous hectic schedules cause emotional and physical stress. Providing support via in-home visits, phone calls, or respite care is an effective resolution for emotional stress.

2.) ….financial support. Caregiving requires many caregivers to resign from employment. They’re forced to survive on the care-recipient’s fixed income. Others reduce their employment status from full-time to part-time. Caregiver compensation programs are necessary for financial survival.

3.) ….appreciation and recognition for their devotion. Observers must acknowledge the mental, physical, and financial stress of caregiving. Caregivers are heroes working behind-the-scenes creating hope in seemingly hopeless situations. A simple THANK YOU can make a dark day lighter.

4.) ….time to de-stress and recharge. Caregiving is physically and emotionally exhausting. Rest is necessary for effective job performance. Programs enforcing respite care must be made available to caregivers and families. Unsupportive family and friends hinder stress release opportunities for caregivers. Funded respite care programs would foster caregivers’ health and encourage consistent quality care for care-recipients.

5.) ….better employment flexibility. Societal demands require caregivers to work and earn income while caring for loved-ones. Creating a work/caregiving balance is difficult. Many succumb to the exhaustion and are forced to resign from their employment. Employers must be more empathetic by offering reasonable leave of absence programs or schedule flexibility options.

Caregiving is a daunting task requiring endless hours of care and support. Observers focus on the needs of care-recipients and often disregard caregivers’ concerns or well-being. Their concerns may not share the same complexity as the patient’s needs, but are significant in maintaining the proper caregiving/life balance. Caregivers provide loved-ones with hope and security. Family and friends sleep soundly knowing their loved-ones are safe and secure. Caregivers’ needs must be acknowledged! Thank you for reading and take care! Please share!

Caregiver Fitness

Caregiving is physically and emotionally demanding. Balancing daily stress and quality care is overwhelming and time consuming. Constant devotion to a loved-one leaves limited time for self-care. Demanding daily routines cause tiredness and exhaustion. Limited time, lack of energy, and hectic schedules are deterrents of exercise. How can you stay physically fit while caregiving? Try this 20-minute in-home workout performed with NO EQUIPMENT.

The listed exercises should be performed as a circuit….do one set of each exercise allowing limited rest-time between exercises. 

Repeat the circuit 3-4 times, resting 2 minutes between each circuit.

  1. SQUAT 20 reps
  2. PUSH-UP (Standard or Incline)20 reps
  3. CRUNCH20 reps
  5. TRICEPS DIP20 reps
  6. BICYCLE CRUNCH20 reps

Exercise promotes physical fitness and reduces stress. Allow yourself time to de-stress and recharge. Incorporate a workout routine into your schedule and enjoy the benefits. Don’t have 20 minutes? The workout is too intense? Modify and divide the routine into two 10-minute workouts. Stay healthy and provide your loved-one with deserved quality care. Thank you for reading. Take care!!

Eat the Sweets!

Fitness entered my life when I became my grandmother’s full-time caregiver 14 years ago.  My daily exercise routine allowed me to de-stress and clearly focus on my caregiving duties.  I wasn’t concerned with a 6-pack or diamond triceps.  Through the days and months, each daily workout became part of my strict schedule.  I began to notice concentration and endurance improvements.  The days didn’t seem so endless and my mood drastically improved.  I began to ENJOY physical fitness and being fit!  It provided stress relief, encouraged a healthier lifestyle, and gave a boost to my self-confidence.  However, I’m not addicted to fitness or healthy eating.  It doesn’t dictate my life.  I’m 5’6″, 125 pounds and can eat more than my husband.  I love food!  Especially CANDY AND DESSERTSBut, can you stay fit and still eat those delicious sweets?  YES, you can eat sweets and still have a beach body!

1.)  Create an Exercise Routine

Create an exercise routine that fits your schedule.  I allow myself 30 minutes each morning for exercise.  Why 30 minutes?  Initially, only 30 minutes were available during my hectic caregiving schedule.  But after trying various exercise routines, it was evident that I lost interest in the routine if it was longer than 30 minutes.  A half-hour each day works for me!

2.)  Mix It Up

Boredom is one of my biggest complaints when exercising.  The same daily routine becomes monotonous over time.  I recommend integrating different workouts into your schedule.  Take your routine outside….weather permitting.  Ride your bike instead of running your usual mile loop.  Variety is key to persistence and dedication during your fitness journey.  

3.)  Eat Health-IER

I’m not considered a healthy eater.  But, I try to eat healthier.  Many people are under the impression that becoming physically fit involves low carb diets and eating only celery and carrot sticks.  WRONG!  Becoming and staying fit is achieved by creating a balance between exercise and eating.  Your body needs carbs and fats.  Without these your body will become depleted and lack energy for everyday activities.  My advice….eat healthier versions of the foods you enjoy!

4.)  Splurge and Indulge

I’ve tried fad diets and eliminating sweets.  My end result….binge eating on any cookies, cakes, or ice creams available!  Eat the sweets, but in moderation.  My current fitness routine includes eating a delicious cookie before starting any workout.  I eat health-IER throughout the day.  Dinner is followed by my favorite mini candy-bar.  Sundays are reserved for a bowl of ice cream.  Including these sweets in my daily diet eliminates my carb and sugar cravings and keeps me motivated.  No binge eater here!

Striking a balance between the things you love and fitness creates an overall healthier lifestyle.  Who doesn’t want to feel better about themselves or be less stressed on a daily basis?  I want you to realize that you CAN be fit and still EAT the things you love.  Life’s too short not to indulge in sweet delicacies!  Thank you for reading!  Now go eat a cookie and start working out!  Take care and good luck!