Caring can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health and wellbeing. Therefore, it is important to look after your health to support you in your caring role.
- Try to eat a well balanced diet, with at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. A healthy diet will be beneficial for the person you care for too.
- Taking regular exercise is good for your health – both physical and mental. You could try going for a walk or taking up an exercise class. Whatever you choose it should be fun and something that you want to do.
- Having hobbies and interests is also good for your mental and physical health.
- Try to get enough sleep. Sleep is very important as it helps the brain and body recover from being tired. It can be difficult if the person you care for has disturbed nights. You may find it easier to sleep when the person you care for is sleeping, and may be able to take advantage of daytime naps. If you are unable to get enough sleep because of the person you care for, talk to your Doctor. They may be able to suggest services or techniques that can help.
- If you have a physical disability or a sensory impairment then these will affect your caring role. It is important to make sure you are receiving all the support you are entitled to. Speak to your Doctor or social services department.
- If you have to help the person move around, be careful of your back. Speak to your Doctor for advice; they may be able to refer you to a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist. Some local caregivers’ organizations provide training sessions on moving and handling. Contact your local caregivers organization, Doctors or social services to find out what is available in your area.
- See your Doctor on a regular basis to check up on your health.
If you are struggling to cope and feel depressed, anxious or stressed, talk to your Doctor. There are options available such as counseling or extra support services, and these problems are easier to manage at an early stage.
Some useful services:
Your financial well-being
Your legal and financial situation may be affected if you are caring for a person with dementia. There are a number of areas to think about. Visit this link to get more information on your financial situation and Government benefits