Did you know that more than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias? As a part of the Sandwich Generation, you are among the 40 million unpaid caregivers who are responsible for elderly relatives, children, and, more often than not, a career as well. So, how do you do it all while still providing quality care for those relying on you? It’s certainly no easy task, but it is one that is possible with the right attention given to the most important parts of your life.
With your life as busy as it is, it’s essential to fuel your body with the right nutrients. A healthy diet doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple by choosing nutrient-dense options that work for the whole family - including your elderly relative. However, it’s not all about the food. Families who share mealtimes together often have better eating habits! Get started with one of these simple recipes your multi-generational family will love.
The amount of regular exercise that you need changes as you age. If your loved one is over 65, it’s important that they engage in moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Their fitness routine might look like a walking workout or simple swimming activities. Don’t forget that as a caregiver, your strength is equally as important! Not only does exercise help alleviate stress levels, it will provide you with the energy you need to keep up with your full life.
Focusing on healthy mental stimulation is important for your aging loved one and for you! Staying up to date with medical appointments, eating right, and exercising regularly all help with maintaining and improving cognitive health. There is reason to believe that using your mind to engage in something new, like a hobby, also helps to keep your brain healthy and happy. Other examples of giving your mind a workout include doing fun activities like crossword puzzles or sudoku.
Is your elderly relative a social butterfly? Part of keeping your mind healthy and engaged is by encouraging social connections. Visits from family, friends, or a paid respite worker can help the elderly feel less alone and give their brain an opportunity to stay active.
As part of the Sandwich Generation, it’s crucial to take some time to organize your finances as well as the finances of your elderly relative. Having a plan for your loved one’s retirement while prioritizing your own savings can help alleviate stress.
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