Take Care of Yourself When Caring for a Loved One

Contributed by: Shazia Chaudhry, MD, General Internal Medicine

TakeCareFamily caregiving is serious work. It touches almost every family and in very different ways – different ages being cared for, different health conditions and different financial situations. Every year, more people are caring for a loved one. 40% of women and 37% of men take responsibility as a caregiver. While caregiving is a first priority, caregivers need to remember to focus on their own health as well.

You Can’t Do It All

We commonly try to accomplish as much as we can in a short amount of time and usually do so without asking for help or taking our own health and well-being into consideration. While accomplishing our goals is great, it’s important to remember that you are only as strong as your mind and body allow. If you’re running on little sleep, not eating properly or taking no time to yourself, your mind and body will eventually wear out putting you at a high risk for health problems.

Take Care of Yourself

Throughout November, National Family Caregivers Month, join us in putting your own health a top priority so you can be healthy and energized to give the care and attention your loved one needs. Some ways you can take great care of yourself is to visit your primary care doctor for an annual wellness and prevention exam. The end of the year is also a great time to have an annual gynecologic exam, including a PAP smear. If you are vigilante about visiting your doctor on a regular basis and had your annual exams, continue to monitor your health and practice good habits. This can include exercising on a regular basis, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep – seven to eight hours is best – pay attention to your stress levels and ask for help when needed.

At the Women’s Center, we understand and recognize that between your job, house-hold responsibilities and caregiving for children or other loved ones, you may not have the most available or flexible schedule that allows time to visit the doctor. We have a great solution to that problem. Through the Women’s Executive Health and Wellness Program, you get a comprehensive physical and medical history, diagnostic testing, and in-depth provider consultations – all in one day! This unique program also includes genetic, nutrition, behavioral health/stress management and fitness consultations.

For more information on this program or to schedule an appointment, call (513) 475-UC4U.

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