Family caregivers focus their attention on day to day activities that must be accomplished to ensure their senior loved ones’ needs are met. They may have to feed them, clean them, dress them, entertain them, transport them and more.
Are you among the many family caregivers who are spending the majority of their days planning the next move and trying to find time to do it all?
Will you take time for yourself or to enjoy the moment with your senior loved one today or this week?
We feel it’s important that you do so. Family caregivers often feel their own needs are secondary, at best, compared to the needs of the loved ones for whom they care. What any don’t realize, though, is that being at their best puts family caregivers in the best position to provide care to others.
(Editor’s note: the specific products pictured and discussed in this article were provided compliments of RiteAid. We received no compensation other than the products themselves and have no obligation to them. The content of this article, including suggested products, is totally ours).
We have some ideas to help you, not only take a much needed break to pamper yourself but also spend some quality time with your senior.
There are products we found available as part of Wellness Wednesday specials at our local RiteAid store. They have a lot of products all in one place that can help your seniors feel better, get well and stay well physically and mentally. The best part is that it is discounted for the 65+ members!
Home spa day here we come!
Beautiful nails! There are a variety of styles and colors that will add a little dazzle to your days. My mother and I enjoy the different colors that we find such as neon blue or green that we top off with the sparkly shine of this new product we got – Triple Shine. It is shimmery silver gloss that we like as a top coat over another color. If you give your senior loved one a manicure or pedicure with some vibrant colors and shiny gloss, we know that it will add enjoyment to a typical week. Topping it off with a foot or nail soak before the polishing begins promises to be a relaxing time.
If your senior is a man, do the soak but use a clear polish just to get their nails neat and clean. It is a good bonding time. If you prefer, treat yourself only!
Dealing with damaged hair. You’ve probably seen the commercial where the girl has bandages on her long hair since it is broken, dry and in need of healing. Many times our seniors’ hair becomes dry and coarse. This new product, Damage Eraser, from Garnier Fructis is nice to put in to strengthen and repair dry, brittle hair. We suggest you do a beauty shop day where you give your senior a head massage and rub in this type of product. It will relax you both at the same time it will restore luster and shine to your senior’s hair.
Many seniors have dry and fragile skin as you may as a caregiver who performs many tasks that keep our hands in water and cleaning products during the day. You can use Nivea and massage hands, feet, arms and legs where seniors’ skin is fragile and at risk. This can be very soothing especially if coupled with soft music and a calm environment. You will enjoy this togetherness and calming moment.
A touch of cologne. What a treat to smell like flowers or musk. It will bring your senior back to a time when they would get all dressed up for church, dinner or a party. They don’t need a special occasion to smell good and it may help them feel like they used to!
Don’t forget a bubble bath! Calgon take me away! If your senior can still get in and out of a bathtub, why not treat them or you to a warm bubble bath? Put on some soothing music or prop them up with a good book while they soak. It can relieve not only stress but loosen up stiff joints and muscles.
Find many other fun things when you visit your community drug store that will give you and your senior some much needed stress relief including joke books, crosswords, music, comfy pillows, games, aromatherapy oils, cushy socks, eye masks, facial products, hair coloring, and other item that would make you feel better about yourself and reduce your stress.
Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things that caregivers can do to relieve the chance of burnout. When you are healthy and well, it will be easier for you to care for your senior loved one.
Alternate Stress Relievers
There are other ways to reduce your stress besides trying some of the products listed above. Here are just a few we think you might enjoy. These activities need to be planned into your week so that you do not feel that you are neglecting some other task as you care for yourself. You deserve a place in your calendar devoted to you!
- Take a walk. Listen to the sounds of nature. Enjoy the beauty of the day. Take a buddy and enjoy time spent with friends.
- Take a yoga class. Yoga is a great way to reduce stress and stay strong for all the duties that you accomplish every day.
- Meditation. It only takes a few minutes a day to release your tension and anxiety. What caregiver doesn’t experience tension? We all do. It’s easy to do: sit up straight, close your eyes, focus on a happy thought, feel the rhythm of your own breathing. Tell yourself something, a personal mantra such as “I am worth it”, “I love myself”, or “I can do it today.”
- Journaling. Get yourself a small notebook. You don’t have to show anyone what you write. It is intended for your personal thoughts and emotions. Jot down a few words, short sentences or a page depending on your feelings at that moment. Express yourself without fear of rebuttal. This will allow you to visualize your feelings and move on from them without allowing them to take over space in your life. You should not feel guilty about what you feel or write in your journal. Use it as a release.
- Pick an activity that you enjoy but don’t usually allow yourself the freedom to do. It could be gardening, reading, playing an instrument, dancing, visiting with friends, taking a class or playing a sport. Do it routinely and schedule it into your week. It will help your physical and mental well-being.
Time spent making yourself a well-rounded, whole person will pay off dividends in your ability to provide care for your senior loved one.