Staying Healthy as a Caregiver

Woman caregiving for man in a wheelchair

How to Stay Healthy Mentally and Physically When You're a Caregiver

Taking care of others can be hard on your own health. In fact, 17 to 25 percent of caregivers say their health is fair or poor, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance. That statistic isn't surprising. Whether you're caring for young children or elderly relatives, caregiving is a demanding, stressful job. Following these tips will help you avoid injuries and health issues while also reducing stress in your life.

Stay Active

Lack of exercise is a common issue among caregivers. At the end of a long day, it can be hard to find the energy to work out. Yet, inactivity can increase your risk of developing a variety of health problems, including:

  • Obesity
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Osteoporosis
  • Depression
  • Colon, Breast or Uterine Cancer

Exercise offers a simple way to reduce your risk of developing these diseases and conditions. Even 10 or 15-minute exercise sessions can help you stay healthy. You don't have to visit a gym or even leave the house to enjoy the benefits of exercise. Walking up and down the steps repeatedly, exercising to a video or jogging in place will get your blood flowing and help keep your heart, muscles, and bones strong.

Don't Neglect Your Interests

You may have given up your favorite hobbies and leisure activities after you began caring for a friend or family member. Although your dedication is certainly commendable, you may soon feel depressed or stressed if your life only involves caregiving.

Find time to watch a favorite TV show, try the new restaurant in town or finish your woodworking project. If the person you care for requires 24-hour supervision, ask a friend to take over for you for a few hours or find out if home health agencies in your area offer respite care.

Make Your Health a Priority

You can't take care of other people if you're sick. Has your diet suffered since you became a caregiver? Eating a balanced diet is a crucial factor in good health. Make sure your meals include options from the major food groups and avoid carbohydrate-laden or sugary snacks.

Make (and keep) appointments with your doctor when you don't feel well. The longer you put off receiving medical care, the worse your illness or condition can become. Visiting your doctor promptly will help you ensure that you're well enough to care for your family member or friend.

Use Safe Lifting Techniques

Poor lifting techniques can cause injuries that make it difficult or impossible to care for your relative. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 17 percent of caregivers reported that they experienced 14 or more physically unhealthy days over a month's time span.

Lifting with your legs while keeping your neck and head aligned can help you avoid injury, as can using a lifting belt to help transfer a person from a wheelchair or bed. No matter how cautiously you move, injuries can still happen. Don't be reluctant to ask for help if you don't think you can move the person safely.

See Your Chiropractor

It's not unusual for caregivers to develop stiffness and pain, particularly in their necks and backs. Ignoring your symptoms may worsen pain and decrease your range of motion.

Regular visits to your chiropractor help you reduce pain and other symptoms. Using spinal manipulation, soft tissue mobilization, massage, and other techniques, your chiropractor can realign your spine, decrease muscle stiffness and pain, and speed healing of injured areas by increasing blood flow.

Both you and your family member or friend benefit when you take care of yourself. If caregiving is taking a toll on your body, we can help. Contact us to schedule your chiropractic appointment.

Sources:

American Heart Association: Top 10 Caregiver Tips for Staying Healthy and Active, 6/30/17

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Caregiving for Family and Friends - A Public Health Issue

Family Caregiver Alliance: Caregiver Statistics: Health, Technology and Caregiving Resources

Medline Plus: Health Risks of an Inactive Lifestyle

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Office Hours

Monday:

8:30 am-1:00 pm

3:00 pm-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-1:00 pm

3:00 pm-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-1:00 pm

3:00 pm-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-1:00 pm

3:00 pm-6:00 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-1:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Patient Experiences

  • "Dr. Falwell and staff are wonderful people! I have been coming in quite frequently over the past few months and Dr. Falwell has completely changed my life. I went in with extremely painful lower back problems and other issues I had from being an athlete my whole life. Dr. Falwell completed an assessment before starting anything which i really liked. She asked me very thorough questions about my life and background so she had a good understanding of who I am and life changes I might need to make to improve my physical health. The staff here are fabulous, I love those ladies! There is a very friendly but professional atmosphere and I am always greeted with big smiles every time I come in."
    Jenna H.
  • "Monday is the first working day of my week, and I begin early by placing my physical self in the hands of a true healer, Dr. Fallwell. After adjusting me and checking to make sure I am in balance, she sends me to the next phase of healing: my laser treatment. I think of this as amplifying light waves to stimulate my nervous and immune systems, promoting better health to my entire body God certainly made my life happier and healthier when he sent the two of you my way."
    Maurice R.
  • "About three years ago, I suddenly started having blackouts brought on by bouts of heavy coughing. They lasted only a few seconds, but within a very short span of time they developed into seizures lasting longer and more frequently. Sometimes following these episodes, I actually felt as if I had been in another state of consciousness.
    After several medical tests, I was diagnosed with Cough Syncope, and there was nothing the medical profession could do. So guess who I asked to explain my condition: Dr. Fallwell. She not only relayed to me her knowledge of how the vagus nerve was involved but also applied that knowledge through her hands to restore my health. After a few treatments, my cough syncope stopped and so did the blackouts and seizures. Thanks, Dr. Fallwell!"
    Barry K.
  • "If you want to find a chiropractor who understands the mind, body, and spirit connection than look no further than Dr. Christine Fallwell. It is truly amazing to see your physical symptoms fade away after treatments by Dr. Chris. She encourages looking at all aspects of your life that, in time, ease your stress and inflammation in your body, thus promoting healing. She is one of a kind and I enthusiastically recommend Dr. Chris for the best in chiropractic care."
    Ann G.
  • "I thought I would have a second surgery on my foot. I kept the toe bandaged and as immobilized as possible. I couldn't wear regular flats to work, only over-sized athletic shoes. I couldn't face the pain of extended recovery time after the first "simple procedure." So I limped around for a few weeks then my knees and back started aching and nagging. I continued to drag myself to work due to pain and lack of energy for a few more weeks. Then a trusted long-time friend insisted I see Dr. Fallwell.
    By the end of the first week of treatment, walking wasn't painful for my foot. My knees and back were working again much more comfortably than before! With a month of so of treatments three times a week, I was walking like normal with NO pain in my foot or knees!"
    Andrea E.