|BPC SERIES: A 9-Part Series on BEING a PRIMARY CAREGIVER (BPC)|
|Approximately 43.5 million caregivers have provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months. *|
|This series is dedicated to the heart and soul of this informal, unpaid, caregiving group, the primary caregivers. Silver Lining is dedicated to a healthier Delaware by using our expertise to empower a group of incredible people to give their loved ones the best care possible.|
What is a Primary Caregiver?
A primary caregiver is the title given to anyone that is primarily (first-up) responsible for caring and providing for another living thing. A primary caregiver could be:the sole available person caring for anotherthe person who cares for another in the primary role (and has additional support people)the individual who lives with the person that needs cared forUltimately, a primary caregiver is responsible for making sure that the person they’re caring for gets the support and care they need. Our goal with the BPC Series is to support this amazing group of primary caregivers with resources, shout outs and access. We see you and we are here for you.
First, if you haven’t read our blog post on the difference between health and wellness, check it out here.
Wellness is multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment. Wellness contributes to your health. Wellness often requires intention, education and awareness. Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness; it is a dynamic process of change and growth.
So how can you be an active participant in wellness for yourself and your loved one? As a primary caregiver, taking care of yourself goes hand in hand with caring for your loved one. You can’t care for them if you’re not caring for yourself.
Imagine that you have a “bucket” for each facet of your life–emotional, relational, spiritual, mental, physical, occupational, financial and environmental. Wellness looks at all the buckets contributing to your life. Maybe your spiritual bucket is always full, but your physical bucket is often empty. If you’re being an active participant in your wellness, you’re aware of how full your buckets are and are taking steps to improve or “fill up” those that are lacking. Sometimes one bucket is fuller than another and sometimes you find one or two buckets empty. That’s real life! A focus on wellness doesn’t mean having all your buckets filled at the same time or even having them filled exactly the same; it’s understanding what wellness looks like for you and being intentional with one step at a time to fill your bucket to a point that feels good to you. There is no formula or perfect “balance” that you will ever achieve, so set your expectation that you care deeply about doing your best. Start with these questions:
We often hear: “I don’t want to go to a senior center. That’s for old people.” Many senior centers are 50+ or 55+ in age, meaning younger people go and participate. In our opinion, they should just be considered “clubs!” They’re a great place to meet people, attend events, participate in meals or exercise classes etc. And most are quite cost-effective. Check out the Modern Maturity Center in Dover as an example of a place with great programs where everyone can find something!
Brittany Stoltzfus of Simply Nutrition and Wendy Flannery of Contemporary Nutrition are both Registered Dieticians (not just health coaches) who can meet with you remotely to help you establish a healthy relationship with food and exercise. Visit their websites or call to set up a consult.
Cleaning services like Merry Maids can ensure your home environment is where you need it to be, while Aging in Place Specialists like Kat Cieniewicz, PT of Aging in Place Specialists or Debra Young, OT of Empowerability can help you adapt your home to work for you.
Visit our YouTube channel for talks around aging topics and to watch our Coffee Chats with Tiffany where RN Tiffany Rubin talks about matters you care about.
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