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Be A Healthy Caregiver


The number of caregivers who were hospitalized due to illnesses are growing right now and it’s already quite alarming. We’ve been receiving some notifications about some caregivers needing help not just financially but also emotionally since they are alone in the hospital without anyone to help them.

Remember, being away from your loved ones is quite a pain knowing that there will be nobody here who can just jump out of their respective jobs just to attend to you in the hospital.

I was once hospitalized because I got into an accident. I fell down from the escalator and I needed 5 stitches on my eyebrow. I had to go through all the troubles alone because my sister who was working at Ramat Hasharon that time cannot go out of her job for nobody will take care of her employer.

In short, it is NOT easy to get sick, let alone getting hospitalized.

It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves. Although we are covered by medical insurance, it is not a reason for us to be irresponsible especially when it comes to our health and well-being.

As caregivers, we are always caught up with a lot of responsibilities that we often neglect ourselves and our health. But, for us to be better caregivers, we really need to be healthy and strong not just for our employers but also, to keep our job. I mean, come on, who will continue to employ you if you’re sick?

Here are some tips on how to keep yourself healthy:

1. See a Doctor -

 

Our medical insurance is not just for sickness and hospitalization purposes only. You can go for a physical checkup routine even if you are feeling well. It is very important to monitor your blood chemistry to prevent further diseases. Mind you, most of the illnesses right now are without symptoms from the beginning. You will just begin to feel very bad when it’s already too late. Most of the diseases right now has flu symptoms and these things are easy to ignore since you are only considering a flu virus infection that will only lasts some days and a simple Paracetamol will do the job.

You can go to any clinic where your medical insurance is accepted and asked for doctors referral to have CBC, BUN-Creatinine Test, Urinalysis, Stool Exam and even annual mammogram. It is very important to know your blood chemistry. Most infections or major diseases are detected through blood samples being tested.

2. Keep Moving -

No matter what you say, laziness will cause much trouble especially with your health. Insert some time for some physical exercise in your daily routine.

Smart Small - it is recommended to have at least 30min of exercise everyday. But, start with 10min each day and increase it by next week by another 5min. Your body will have a kick start and it will eventually get used to 30min-1hour of physical activity everyday.

Exercise at Home - pull out a yoga mat and stretch out your body. This will help you to prevent back pain too. You can turn on a youtube exercise video and follow them. There are a lot of zumba or aerobic dances that are easy to follow.

Find something physical that you love to do - Zumba, aerobic, yoga, jogging or just plain walking outside will help a lot with your healthy lifestyle.

You can also opt to bring your employer outside for a walk if they still can or put them on the wheelchair and walk them at the park near your place or to the mall.     

3. Eat Well -

Incorporate healthy meals to your daily diet. A well-balanced diet will really make a big difference in your life. Vegetables and fruits are healthy and very cheap in Israel. There’s no reason for you not to eat loads of it. Enough of processed foods that you can easily buy in Tachana like corn chips, canned goods and ready to eat meals. They are full of sugar, salt and MSG. These are ingredients that will destroy your organs and will cause a lot of diseases.

Always choose to eat lean meat like turkey and chicken breast. Let go of too much fat, oil and butter. You can eat sweets from time to time  as a treat but not as a meal. I understand that sometimes it is really tempting to cook or buy those food from home but consider the effect of these food on your health.

4. Manage your Stress Level -

Stress, whether you believe it or not is a big factor that causes a lot of health problems. It causes stomach aches, increase in blood pressure and sometimes stress eating that will make you overweight later on. Get easy on yourself. Find some things to do to relax. Telenovelas are available on your computer to watch. Skype is free. Use your free time to talk to your family back home. Have some “me” time and go out to pamper yourself. Reward yourself from time to time. And of course, get enough sleep as much as you can.

5. Be Realistic -

There’s no such thing as perfect life nor a perfect job. There are difficulties along the way but let loose. Don’t be too hard on yourself. There are days when your employer will throw fit especially those who are with Alzheimer’s Disease. It will be a difficult thing to handle but that’s reality. You have to face it with practical and realistic resolution too.

6. Take A Break -

Plan your vacation and save up for it. It is your right to take a vacation and see your family. Set aside some amount every month for your plane ticket. Remember, you don’t have to bring a lot of “pasalubong”. A family that loves you will not look forward for the material things. Seeing you home after years of being away is enough to make them happy. And of course, there’s no place like home. Taking a break means being home with your family.

7. Be Ready to Accept Changes -

Eventually, your employer will need a more intensive care or you might need to have another employer that you need to adjust with. Be ready for these changes. Remember, no job is perfect. There will be some challenges later on but what is important is you’ve already conditioned yourself to take on the challenges. It will be much easier if you already anticipated these changes early on.    

8. Credit Yourself -

If you know that you are doing everything you can to take care of someone and you feel that you fall short sometimes, don’t feel guilty about it. Instead, be proud of yourself that you did your best to do your job. It will be more than enough. Again, don’t be too hard on yourself and manage your stress level.

 


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