As a family caregiver, cold and flu season can be an intimidating time. You know how dangerous illness can be for a senior, especially one who is living with chronic health concerns and a suppressed immune system. This means you are likely to put a considerable amount of thought and effort into adjusting your care routine to protect your parent from sickness. During this time, however, it is extremely important to remember that you are vulnerable to these illnesses as well. Because of your role as a family caregiver, you may even be more vulnerable than you were before taking on this role. Paying attention to your own health is an important part of keeping yourself well, and ensuring you are the best possible caregiver for your senior, and for all those who rely on you.
Some ways you can protect your own health during cold and flu season include:
- Pay attention to those around you, and avoid coming into contact with those who are ill, or who have recently been ill. Remember, cold and flu can be contagious before symptoms appear, and after they go away
- Get plenty of rest. Sleeping enough is critical to supporting your immune system, and helping it fight off potential illness and infection
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Don’t let your busy schedule lead you into relying on convenience foods and prepackaged items. Choose healthy, nutritious meals and snacks that give your body what it needs to have energy, function properly, and stay strong
- Stay hydrated. Getting enough fluids is important to sustaining your immune system, and allowing you to expel germs and irritants through coughing and sneezing even when you are not sick
- Practice effective germ control, including washing your hands regularly and disinfecting surfaces
- Ask your doctor about supporting your immune system with vitamin C
- Find ways to reduce your stress. Being stressed suppresses the immune system and strains your body. Reducing stress makes you stronger and helps to reduce the risk of illness
Reducing stress and getting enough rest are vital to protecting your health and keeping your immune system strong. When you are a family caregiver, it can be hard to get this rest, especially during the busy end of the year. This is where elder care can be invaluable. Having an elderly home care services provider as a part of your care routine for your aging parent can be a powerful way to give you more flexibility and time in your schedule without sacrificing the quality of the care you give your senior. This allows you to manage more of the tasks on your to-do list while still having the time you need to take care of yourself, and the rest you need to stay strong and healthy. This care can also help your parent enjoy a more active, independent, and fulfilling lifestyle as they age.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Lakewood, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.