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Wellness Check

Monday August 16, 2021

otoscope on yellow background with words "Wellness Check"

We all want to be healthy and well. Wellness is a great goal, but it can feel nearly impossible to accomplish. Are we ever fully well? The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as “the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health”.  It’s a journey, not a destination.

In honor of National Wellness Month in August, let’s dive into a few simple steps that can move you forward on your wellness journey.

  1. Get caught up on recommended health screenings.

Due to the pandemic, many adults skipped their routine screenings in 2020. Don’t let 2021 get by you as well. Talk to your doctor today. Here are a few health screenings that you may be due for: colonoscopy, mammogram, cervical cancer screening (pap smear), osteoporosis screening (bone density scan), prostate cancer screening, routine bloodwork, and blood pressure screening.

And don’t forget those teeth! Advanced gum disease (periodontitis) has been linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, and pneumonia. Seeing your dentist regularly helps your overall health.

  1. Ask your doctor about recommended vaccinations.

August is also National Immunization Awareness Month. Have you considered the pneumonia or shingles vaccine for yourself or your loved one? Influenza season is almost here. Flu shots are one of the best weapons in decreasing the severity of illness if you were to catch the flu. Flu shots will be offered at Page Robbins for participants in September or October. Stay tuned for details. I encourage you to speak with your physician regarding all vaccines that are available to you.

  1. Watch for signs of burnout. Ask for help.

As a caregiver, it can be easy to let your own health, friendships, and interests take a backseat to your loved one’s needs. If this goes on long enough, it can lead to caregiver burnout. The truth is that many caregivers feel guilty when they spend time on themselves rather than on their ill or elderly loved ones. But at some point, your mental and physical well-being must become a priority.

Take this online Caregiver Quiz from AARP to see if you are having signs of burnout. Burnout can affect not only your mental health but also your physical well-being. Please reach out for help, and don’t go at it alone! There are resources available to you, and I encourage you to take advantage of them.

Our fabulous social worker, Sheri Wammack, hosts a monthly virtual support group over Zoom. Check out the Support Groups page on our website for more information. Know that we are here to support you as a caregiver in any way that we can. Your personal wellness is vital to the health and well-being of your loved one.

Written by Rebecca Surbrook, RN