As a caregiver, it is easy to get caught up in the health of the person you are caring for and forget about your own health. However, it is important that you maintain your own health, both for your own well-being and that of the person you are caring for.
Take a moment to think about the last time you were in a medical office waiting to see a health care professional for an assessment of your health, not the health of the person you are caring for.
You may want to contact your health care professional’s office and inquire about whether you are due for any routine testing, exams, or vaccinations. Perhaps even booking an appointment to discuss your current health status is a better idea if it has been a while since your last visit.
If you have any existing medical conditions that need monitoring and managing such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease to name a few, you should especially consider making an appointment for a health assessment.
Remember that making the appointment is only half of the task. Attending the appointment and being an active member of the visit is the other half. You may want to bring a notebook to make notes about what is discussed at the visit. As part of your self-care plan, it is a good idea to keep upcoming appointments in a calendar or planner that you continue to fill in and refer to. These may be things that you already do for the person in your care at their medical appointments but they can also be applied to your own appointments.
If you do not have a health care professional that you see regularly, consider visiting www.211.ca or calling 2-1-1 to inquire about health and social services in your area including housing, health care, LGBTQ+ programs, and many others. You can also ask local friends and family if they can suggest a family doctor or a nurse practitioner. Consider calling or visiting the office to inquire about whether they are accepting new patients. Some clinics also offer “walk-in” services for individuals who are not registered as patients. If you are in need of immediate medical attention please call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number or report to your nearest emergency room.
Consider this a gentle reminder from your friends at Elizz to make your own health a priority!
You might also like our Elizz article entitled Is it Time to Advocate for Yourself