November is National Family Caregivers Month.Â Caregiving means taking care of others but it also means taking care of ourselves.Â Here are a few tips from caregiving expert Kari Berit about how to take care of your brain as you age.
â€œThis is not easy and it is not a â€œquick fix.â€ Says Dr. Paul Nussbaum, author of Save Your Brain (Amazon.com). I know Paulâ€™s integrity and dedication to bringing brain fitness to the forefront of all our agendas. Itâ€™s time to dive in. Youâ€™re in it for the long haulâ€¦so prepare yourself for setbacks and slow, steady progress. Journal about the changes youâ€™re feeling and remember, with any challenge, put yourself on the gentle cycle.
Choose one of two changes youâ€™ll make in these five areas. They donâ€™t have to be huge shifts. If you have to, brainstorm first, then whittle your choices down to two. (Iâ€™ve provided examples after each category):
1.Â Â Â Mental Stimulation (I will add Sudoku in the morning and practice piano in the afternoon)
2.Â Â Â Nutrition (I will add two fruits to my daily intake and increase my fish intake to three times/week)
3.Â Â Â Physical Activity (I will power walk four times a week for 40 minutes and lift weights 3 times a week for 15)
4.Â Â Â Spirituality (I will increase my meditation to 3 times a week starting with 10 minutes and attend a church gathering 2 Sundayâ€™s/month)
5.Â Â Â Socialization (I will join a monthly book club and monthly line-dancing group)
With my next blog, Iâ€™ll share my challenges!
Kari Beritâ€™s goal is to change the paradigm of aging and caregiving. Berit holds a BA in Psychology and Norwegian from St. Olaf College and a Masterâ€™s Degree in Continuing and Vocational Education from University of Wisconsin, Madison. Berit is an inspiring presenter and she uses her expertise to help Baby Boomers discover the skills and commitment needed to become better caregivers to their loved ones. Berit spent 13 years as a resident manager, director, dementia care specialist and assisted living manager in senior housing facilities. Kari is the author of two books, The Unexpected Caregiver and Mental Fitness Guide, as well as the host of â€œUnexpected Caregiverâ€ radio show.