Aging Parents and Your Health
They call it the “sandwich generation,” caring for aging parents while you still have your own young children. Add to that a full-time job, children’s extra-curricular activities, maintaining a household and you’re often left wondering, “Just how do you take care of those who used to take care of you and take care of you too?
Keep in mind that the stress of caring for aging parents while you have your own family to care for takes its toll on you and your health. What can you do to maintain your health and your sanity? Here are a few suggestions:
• Eat a balanced and nutritionally sound diet, get enough sleep, and exercise on a regular basis
• Remember to make time for the things you like to do – read a book, see a movie, get together with friends for dinner, take a relaxing bath, get a massage
• Ask for help when you need it – talk to a compassionate friend, a qualified mental health professional or a supportive spouse and enlist the help you need to stay strong
• Avoid the use of alcohol or drugs to “feel better” or to reward yourself – you may end up with another problem altogether
• Seek out local resources that can assist with some of the care giving responsibilities, such as meal preparation, bathing, shopping, visiting, medical care, etc.
• Don’t “over-schedule” yourself and then expect to get it all done – be realistic with your own expectations to avoid feeling like a stressed-out martyr
• When you feel overly pressured, get away from the current situation, take a walk or a brief “time-out,” and do some deep breathing exercises
Remember – your children deserve a parent who is there for them as well. Make sure you don’t take the frustration of caring for your aging parents out on them. Get the help you need before the situation gets out of hand. Chiropractic care is important when you are feeling the effects of emotional stress – it tends to take its toll on your body. Be sure to keep up with your appointments – an optimally functioning nervous system goes a long way with helping you to cope with all types of stress in your life. You’ll feel more energetic and better able to “take on the world” when your nervous system is functioning properly!