While San Luis Obispo Caregivers helps many families by finding high-quality professional caregivers, most families still do a high share of the responsibilities themselves.  In fact, 85% of all caregiving is done by a family caregiver.  As a Family Caregiver, we need to make several sacrifices in our own lives. Some we choose to make and others we don’t. That is why we must maintain our health and sanity while our recipients of care continue to get the best version of ourselves, and not burn out in the process.

DIY (Do it Yourself) Checklist

1. Exercise with your care recipient – schedule a way to walk, jog, workout, or a stretch with your person. It is important to get the blood pumping. Start early. 
2. Eat and drink right – It is easy to graze off the food in the pantry or the fridge. Fill the house with healthy foods and get rid of the temptations. Drink lots of water.
3. Take time to pray or meditate – There are many free meditations on youtube that can give you a small break from the day. This has become something that I very much look forward to.  Even 10 to 15 full breaths can get you a little break and releases stress.
4. Attitude is everything.  Talk or just listen to positive people. we are like the 5 people we hang out with the most.  That means if you are around negative people, switch it up.  Call an old friend that makes you laugh, put on a Seinfeld or look up some uplifting videos on YouTube.
5. Take 5 minutes to do something above and beyond for the person you are caring for. Take them outside, pick a flower, watch a favorite show with them and wrap them in their favorite blanket. As a caregiver, you refill your gas tank with the feeling of being appreciated. Just saying I love you will usually do the trick.

Remember the Flight Attendants instructions in case of an emergency on the plane. Put your mask on first then you can be safe to help others. There are 5 stages of care we go through and each one of the stages demands something different from the Family Caregiver.