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How Can Family Caregivers Get Essential Nutrition?

It’s essential that family caregivers consume nutritious diets so they can remain energetic and healthy. Caregiving requires strength and stamina, and without proper nutrition, caregivers may jeopardize not only their own health but also the safety of their elderly loved ones. If you take care of an aging parent, here are some crucial nutritional strategies to follow so you can effectively carry out your caregiving responsibilities.

Eat Lean Protein

Consuming lean sources of protein provides the body with energy. If you don’t eat red meat, lean sources of protein such as turkey breast, chicken breast, and beans provide the strength and energy you need to effectively care for your loved one. If you’ve been diagnosed with renal disease, talk to your physician before consuming large amounts of protein. Eating a protein-rich diet may overwork the kidneys and make you feel fatigued, weak, or dizzy.

Family caregivers don’t have to risk their own wellbeing to make sure their loved ones continue to receive high-quality care. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Anchorage, AK, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Increase Vitamin C Intake

Family caregivers work hard and are often under tremendous stress, which can suppress immune function and raise the risk for infections. Eating foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruit, potatoes, and green leafy vegetables, provides the nutrition you need to keep your immune system strong so you’ll be more resistant to bacterial and viral infections.

Family caregivers are often at high risk for burnout, and hiring a caregiver can provide a much-needed source of support. When you search for a professional caregiver, you’re looking for someone with experience in senior care who’s compassionate and trustworthy. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide home care services. Anchorage families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.

Consume Magnesium-Rich Foods

If your caregiving responsibilities are causing you stress, you may be unable to sleep at night. Even if you do manage to get in a few hours of sleep, your sleep quality may be poor. Anxiety and depression can reduce the quality of restorative or recuperative sleep. If the quality of your sleep isn’t optimal, you may experience daytime sleepiness, weakness, and forgetfulness when caring for your loved one. Eating magnesium-rich foods calms the mind and regulates the heart rate so you become drowsy and enjoy a deeper level of sleep. If you don’t enjoy magnesium-rich foods such as nuts, bananas, or dark chocolate, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter magnesium supplement. Make sure to only take the recommended dosage because too much magnesium can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Eat More Fish

Fresh fish such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Eating a diet rich in these substances is thought to play an important role in reducing the risk of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Being a family caregiver can lead to depression, and while prescription antidepressants can boost mood, they can also cause serious side effects. If you’re considering increasing your intake of fresh fish, talk to your doctor if you take anticoagulants or a daily aspirin. Fish oils can interact with these medications and raise the risk for abnormal bleeding in certain individuals.

It’s crucial for family caregivers to take good care of themselves, and if you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed by your caregiving responsibilities, you don’t have to manage everything all on your own. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Anchorage in-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner in caregiving for your aging loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (907) 770-0907 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.