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Jan 14

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors and their Family Caregivers


2014 New Year sign inside light bulbs on green background

By: Linda Burhans

Even thought we’re getting into mid-January, it’s never too late for constructive resolutions. And if you’ve already broken the ones you made on Jan 1st, well here’s some new ones!

1.  Take care of your health. Make sure you’re eating enough nutritious food and sleeping enough every night. Stress and poor diet will take a toll on your physical and mental health. Eat right. Being healthy doesn’t mean eating boring food. Take a healthy cooking class to learn some new recipes, or visit the weekly farmer’s market to stock up on fresh fruits and veggies. Your body will thank you!

2.  Get educated. Do you feel knowledgeable about your loved one’s medical conditions? Learning everything you can about what they’re dealing with will provide comfort and reduce stress for all involved.

3.  Ask the tough questions. Conversations about wills and end-of-life care aren’t fun. But better to get them out of the way now than to be left wondering. Sitting down with your loved one to talk about these things will take a weight off your mind.

4.  Accept help and ask for help if you need it. Be honest with yourself about how you’re managing caregiving on top of your daily tasks. If you’re in control, great.  But asking for help doesn’t mean admitting defeat. Ask your family to chip in, or consider hiring professional home care help if you need it.

5.  Plan for “me” time. Caregivers often don’t take the time to take care of themselves. But maintaining your “me” time will make you most positive and balanced, and make you a better caregiver. Take daily time to do whatever makes you happy, whether that’s reading a book, meditating, or going out with friends.

6.  Fall-proof your home. One-third of all senior falls come from hazards around the home. Take preventative measures now to prevent actions in the future

7.  Go through your family photos with your loved one. They have information and stories about your family members that your children and grandchildren don’t know. Make sure your family heritage is preserved by going through your family photos by labeling them or putting them in an album that your family can enjoy for generations.

8.  Create a family caregiver’s home health emergency care plan.  Get your affairs in order. Collect and organize important documents concerning your insurance, will, financial information, and assets. It’s not a fun task, but getting it done will feel great.

9.  Keep moving! Stay feeling young by keeping active. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to do it: start a daily walk with your spouse or a friend, or take up an activity such as water aerobics, or yoga.

10.  Acknowledge what you do!  And get into a support group!

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Linda Burhans is a keynote speaker, best-selling author and caregiver advocate with Harmony Home Health.
To find a caregiver support group near you facilitated by Linda, go to our Calendar of Events, Support Groups, and Workshops.
If you are looking for senior in-home health care, please go to our services page.