Caregiver burnout describes the condition that many family caregivers develop when they experience chronic stress related to their duties in taking care of an aging relative. Studies show that regular exercise, at least 30 minutes for three days each week, can do a lot to relieve stress and boost the family caregiver’s health and wellness overall.
How Caregiver Burnout Occurs
Many seniors reach a point in their lives where illness, injury, and age force them to depend on others for daily care. Family members that step up and assume this responsibility open themselves up to a lot of stress, often without respite. The duties are numerous, from getting their elderly parent bathed and dressed in the morning to preparing meals, transporting them to appointments, cleaning the house, preparing the finances and much more. Many family caregivers put the needs of their aging loved one far ahead of their own, leaving them little time for things like exercise.
Family caregivers that don’t engage in some self-care are at risk for poor eating habits, weight gain, isolation, loneliness, depression, alcohol and drug abuse. The chronic stress they experience can actually weaken the immune system and lead to a number of health problems. As their own health spirals down, they may be increasingly unable to provide care to their elderly relative, too.
How Regular Exercise Can Help
Medical experts agree that exercise is one of the best things that people can do to stay physically and mentally healthy. Some of the most common choices are walking, aerobics, swimming, biking, strength training and yoga. Exercise is an excellent stress reliever and benefits the body in so many ways. It leads to weight loss, strength gain, better sleep, and more efficient body functions.
Exercise is also good for the mind, as it provides a chance to meditate, listen to music or podcasts, and focus on something besides caregiving. The time alone can also be advantageous in preventing caregiver burnout. There’s no end to the benefits that regular exercise can provide for family caregivers of all ages and backgrounds.
Ensuring Time for Exercise
So how can family caregivers, who are so busy with the needs of their elderly loved ones, find time to exercise? One of the best ways to do so is for family caregivers to hire senior care providers to come in regularly and provide care for the elderly adult. Professional senior care providers can help with many daily tasks, from dressing and grooming to meal prep and housekeeping. Family caregivers can count on the senior care provider to keep things under control while they take breaks.*
During these breaks, family caregivers can focus on themselves and their needs. It’s an excellent time to fit some exercise in and reap the physical and mental health benefits. If family caregivers really want to put their health and wellness first, they should look into hiring a senior care provider to stay with their loved one while they take the time to work up a sweat.
If you or an aging loved one is considering Home Care Services in Montgomery, OH, please contact the caring staff at Queen City Elder Care today. Serving Cincinnati and Surrounding Communities. Call Us Today (513) 510-4410.
Michele Vollmer is a visionary leader who is perpetually searching for ways to improve, so to remain at the leading edge of the home care industry.She has served in the healthcare industry since 1989, including pharmaceutical and home health sales, as well as hospice sales and sales management.
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