You’re helping your parents with daily activities of living after a health scare or fall. You’ve thought about the changes you face, but one aspect of being a family caregiver is often overlooked. How is your diet?
The 2020 AARP study on family caregiving found that 11 percent of those surveyed reported they couldn’t afford food. Family caregivers rarely get paid, and many have to cut their work hours to be with their parents. Some have to pay bills late or decide to skip groceries for a week to pay for essentials like a mortgage, a car, and electricity.
If you’re dealing with the financial impact of being a family caregiver, you may be starting to cut expenses to make up for the income you’re missing. Instead of purchasing whole-grain pasta, you’re buying the cheapest, least healthy option. You’re purchasing canned vegetables instead of fresh ones.
While saving money is important, it’s also crucial that you’re not risking your own well-being. A healthy diet is important. Here are some tips to help you improve your diet when money’s tight.
Stock Up on Sales
Just before St. Patrick’s Day, cabbages, rutabagas, and carrots go on sale for a fraction of the regular price. The same thing happens with turkeys at Thanksgiving and Christmas. When there are incredible sales like those, stock up. You can store these items safely for months in a chest freezer.
Watch for these sales. If it’s a sale on vegetables, you can blanch the items, dip them in ice water to quickly stop the cooking process, and dry them off. Place them in freezer containers or bags and have frozen produce for the next year.
Grow Your Own Vegetables
With companies like Dollar Seed, you’ll buy vegetable seed packs for $1 each. Grow your own vegetables to have fresh produce throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Freeze extras to have produce throughout the year.
Your garden doesn’t have to be too fancy. Grow items in paint buckets or build a raised bed using scrap lumber. You can even create a lasagna-style garden where you layer planting materials above the ground.
Is It Time to Go Back to Work?
If you’re struggling to keep up with bills, it’s time to take a look at the value of professional caregivers. You can go back to work and earn the paycheck your household is used to. While you’re at work, caregivers can help your parents get out of bed, take a shower, and eat breakfast.
Caregivers can remind them to take prescription pills, do the housework, and run a load of laundry. Call an agency to discuss prices and schedules.
If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Dulles, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 782-3655
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