Does it ever feel like everyone gets a break but you? Between medical appointments, work, church and social commitments and, oh yes, the day-to-day tasks of caring for loved ones and keeping your house from falling down, sometimes the idea of even one day off can seem like an extended April Fool’s Day prank. That’s one reason why Home Instead Senior Care has partnered with Seth and Lauren Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity organization to establish the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Relief Grant Program. People who care for a loved one with dementia can apply for a grant for free respite care from one of our professional CAREGivers. Just a few weeks ago, the first grants were awarded to families in need, totaling more than 6,000 hours of care. Even if you’re not eligible for a grant, however, there are ways to recharge that can fit into any schedule. Mindfulness: We know, we know, the word meditation makes many people think of practice. Which means commitment. Which means no instant gratification. But with mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), you begin to feel calmer the first time you do it – and, of course, the more you practice, the more effective it is. In addition to helping reduce stress, the benefits of MBSR can include boosting immunity, alleviating depression and dulling or eliminating chronic pain. You can learn more here. Exercise: Everyone knows by now that they should exercise, but when it’s not already part of your routine, it can be hard to slot it in. If that sounds familiar, start small: a quick walk around the block, a few stolen moments dancing to your favorite song on your headphones. Not only will exercise offer a small escape from the daily routine, but it will boost your mood – and the more often you do it, the better it works. Self-spa: Place a warm heat-wrap around your neck and close your eyes, concentrating on releasing the tension from each part of your body, inch by inch, for ten minutes. When you take off the wrap, use a tennis ball or foam roller to massage away tension. Have a laugh: A belly laugh lowers cortisol, the stress hormone, and releases feel-good endorphins. And since April is National Humor Month, hopefully you will find many opportunities to LOL. Ask for help: No one can be all things to all people, all the time, and caring for a senior loved one is one area where help is available. Whether it’s asking a friend or family member to fill in for you a few hours a week or hiring a professional CAREGiver, sometimes a helping hand can make a world of difference. For more information, please contact Home Instead of Central Oregon at 541-330-6400.
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