More than 10,000 people in the United States turn 65 years old every day, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. This growth in the aging population has led to an increased number of people who care for loved ones in their homes.
“While many people are happy to take care of aging loved ones, playing this caregiver role can still be physically, mentally and emotionally draining,” says Jill Turner-Mitchael, senior vice president, Sam’s Club Consumables and Health and Wellness. “As a result, it can be easy for caregivers to forget about caring for themselves at times.”
To help, Turner-Mitchael and the Sam’s Club Pharmacists are offering time-saving, stress-reducing tips to help caregivers support their loved ones while also maintaining their own well-being.
• Focus on food and fitness. Maintain a healthy, energy-boosting diet that includes organic fruits and vegetables, lean protein and vitamins. Try to stay active, as well. To keep yourself accountable, consider using a wearable device that tracks your daily diet and activity level.
• Log on. To save time and effort, shop online when possible. In today’s digital world, it’s easy to get everything you need with the click of a button. Companies like Sam’s Club provide everything from groceries to personal care products online for those who don’t have time to make it into a club.
• Give yourself a break. Convene a family meeting to discuss any challenges that you’re facing and see what others can do to lighten your load. Identify someone who can fill in for you for periods of time, so you can take breaks outside of the home to relax and refresh. Doing so will likely help you return to your role with even more energy.
• Seek support. Find a caregiver support group that can help you make connections with others who understand your perspective. Seek out other existing resources that are designed to support caregivers, as well.
For example, Sam’s Club recently launched a new program for family caregivers, including a dedicated webpage that helps members find the products, expert advice and savings they need to make caregiving easier. Visit SamsClub.com/caregiving or the kiosks in select locations around the country for more information.
“As the number of caregivers rises, so does the importance of offering resources that make their lives easier,” says Turner-Mitchael. “As a club of the community, we are working to do just that, so caregivers can focus on what is most important – the health of their loved ones and themselves.”
• Engage your employer. Around 42 million Americans act as caregivers while also working outside of the home, according to AARP. If you are juggling work and home responsibilities, ask your manager about perks or policies that may help you find balance, such as flexible work schedules, emergency time off or on-site eldercare.
Neglecting your own health does no one any favors, so don’t let caregiving mean the end of self-care. With the right resources and resolve, rest assured that you can provide the best care possible while also maintaining your own health.