Setting Healthy Carer Resolutions for the New Year

December 31, 2021

Are you an 'informal carer?'

Informal carers are people who provide care to a friend or family member. Most of these carers are unpaid. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1 in 10 Australians has taken on this role. The average age of an informal carer is 50, with 35% of carers falling between35 and 54.

New Years Carer 2022

If you are caring for an older loved one, your days are likely pretty hectic. From overseeing medications to managing GP appointments, caregiving responsibilities can be demanding. As a result, you may be putting your health low on the list of priorities, causing you to feel burnt out.

While the voluntary role of a carer is a noble one, it can put your health and well being at risk. So, finding the right balance is essential.

As 2022 begins, we have some suggestions to help caregivers live healthier in the new year.

5 Top Healthy Carer Resolutions to Make in 2022

1. Ask for and accept help.

We put this at the top of the list because it's so important.

Adult children are often reluctant to ask for help caring for a parent, or even accept support when offered. However, it's essential to realise that no one can do it alone when caring for an older person.

By finding a few people you trust to help care for your loved one, you may be able to prevent a health crisis of your own. You will also enjoy peace of mind knowing you can rely on backup carers if an emergency arises.

And, remind yourself: You don't need to feel guilty for needing a hand.

2. Practice good self-care.

When you are busy caregiving and put your health on the back burner, you risk having your own medical crisis. Eating a balanced diet, sleeping, and exercising are pillars of a healthy life.

While taking some time for 'you' may feel like an indulgence or guilty pleasure when your days are busy, it is vital for supporting you to be the best you, and the best carer you can be. Keeping in mind your loved one relies on you being fit and healthy, might be the motivation you need to practice self-care.

3. Join a caregiver support group.

Caregivers face unique challenges each day. By connecting with a group of fellow carers - online or in-person - you will likely find the emotional and physical support you need.

If you prefer in-person meetings, check with a local church or community centre to see if they offer any support groups. Another option is the Carer Gateway, which has online and in-person groups and a free counselling and advisory service. You can call them on 1800 422 737.

4. Schedule a physical with your GP.

If you've neglected seeing your doctor for regular check-ups, as carers are prone to do, resolve to get back on track in the new year. Regularly visiting your GP will allow them to identify and intervene before minor medical concerns could become serious ones. By protecting your health and wellbeing, you will be better equipped to provide care.

5. Explore respite options.

Another resolution to consider for 2022 is to explore local respite care services. For example, you might try booking a few days of respite for your loved one at an aged care home or a few hours a week of support from an in-home care agency. Having regular time to attend to your own needs, or have some much needed R&R will aid in managing carer stress and help protect your health.

Respite Care at Mayflower

Whether you are interested in-home care respite services or respite at an aged care home, for a loved one, Mayflower can help. We offer both types of respite for older Australians and their families. Contact us at your convenience to learn more.