You’re a family caregiver, it’s easy to get worn out and over-stressed. This impacts your immune system’s function, which can lead to you becoming sick.
Avoid getting a cold, the flu, or another infectious disease by making sure you take these five steps to help the immune system. Make sure your parents also do all they can to stay healthy.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Everyone needs to focus on a diet that focuses on lean protein, plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and dairy for calcium and vitamin D. Fruits and vegetables with high antioxidant levels are ideal.
For antioxidants, lean towards leafy green vegetables, bell peppers, tomatoes, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. Fruits that are high in antioxidants include berries and citrus fruit.
Make it a goal to drink two liters of water every day. The foods you eat make up some of this water. Foods like celery, oranges, watermelon, and tomatoes have a lot of added water.
If you and your parents drink tea or coffee each day, that will make up some of the water. You should still make sure you’re drinking plain or carbonated water to help hydrate the cells.
Get Enough Sleep
Aim for seven or eight hours of sleep each night. Ideally, you want to target eight hours. To ensure you fall asleep and stay asleep, set a regular bedtime and stick to it as much as possible. Go to bed an hour before you need to fall asleep and do something that relaxes your body and quiets your mind.
You may find that reading helps tire you out. You may need to listen to a relaxation tape or podcast to ease the day’s stress and gets you in the right mindset for sleep. Exercising before bed helps others.
Stress impacts both mental and physical health. When you experience chronic stress, it triggers your body into a stress response. As the body is focused on the release of those stress hormones and blood chemicals, the immune system doesn’t get the same attention.
Work on stress reduction. Meditation is one way to do this. If your parents have a smart speaker, Spotify and several other streaming services offer free podcasts with guided meditations to listen to and practice.
Take a Walk Outside Each Day
Head outside and take a walk every day. Go for a walk around the yard. Walk to a local park and head for the walking trails. You may prefer to walk around the neighborhood with the family dog. Aim for a 30-minute walk or longer.
Do your parents struggle with these five steps? If tasks like cooking and cleaning are harder for them to manage independently, talk to them about home care. With home care aides sterilizing surfaces, cooking nutritious meals, and urging them to go outside for fresh air and sun, their immune system gets a boost.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering home care in Miami, FL please contact the caring staff at Elite Care At Home today at (305) 231-0555.
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