Health is wealth, they say, and it could not be more accurate. Unfortunately, in our day-to-day lives, we juggle a lot of things and may put our health on the back burner.
Sometimes it feels like there isn't enough time in the day to accomplish everything on your to-do list, let alone prioritize yourself.
This blog post will discuss some of the leading health issues that people, including families, face and offer some tips on how to deal with them.
Mental health is a serious issue and often more prevalent than we initially think. It can be hard to know how to handle this type of issue when it happens to a family member, or when it is you and you need to speak with your family about it or engage them in your care.
If you need support to speak openly with your family about your mental health, talk to your therapist first. They can help you plan out what you want to say and practice different scenarios.
If your family is having issues, you can look into family counseling or mediation to help build a supportive environment where everyone can feel heard.
substance abuse and addiction
Substance abuse and addiction are also concerns that often involve the entire family - whether it runs in the family or is affecting the family. If someone in your family is dealing with substance abuse or addiction, it’s important to remember that they need support and understanding in order to get better. Establish clear boundaries and rules when it comes to drugs and alcohol while also providing resources for help like counseling or rehabilitation.
If you are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, consider the advice in the mental health section above to get support in engaging your family and establishing the boundaries you need for recovery.
Chronic illness in just one family member can affect the whole family, whether they help schedule or provide transportation to doctors' visits or help manage medications. Besides the logistics, it is taxing to be a caregiver and to watch someone you love struggle with their health. Both the person with the chronic illness and the caregiver can benefit from counseling and support services. Look up home health agencies and caregiver support groups to see if there is something in your area. You can learn more from the Family Caregiver Alliance and the US government websites.
Encourage open communication about the condition so everyone can understand what’s going on and provide emotional support as well. Some doctors' offices have financial experts and social workers who can help you navigate group conversations. Be sure to set boundaries as to what you are comfortable talking about and who is responsible for decision making, and keep an eye on the latest case developments, such as the Monica Kraft Duke settlement for asthma.
Regular dental checkups should be part of everyone’s routine, and make sure to take any dental problems seriously, as they can have long-term effects on your overall health. Look into preventative measures like brushing and flossing regularly to keep teeth healthy. Make it a family affair to role model good dental hygiene.
Additionally, if someone in the family needs more serious dental care, look into resources like affordable dental plans or clinics that provide low-cost services; start by visiting your local dentist or government website. You can also find lots of recipes online for soft food recipes for someone with braces, who just had teeth extracted, or another oral surgery.
Injury prevention is a key aspect of keeping your family healthy. Make sure everyone in the family is aware of proper safety practices, like wearing seat belts, helmets and other protective gear when doing activities. If the family is going for a bike ride but the adults don't model safe behavior, the kids see you not practicing what you preach.
Additionally, be sure to install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the house and keep hazardous chemicals out of reach of young children. Check out fire department websites for additional resources and consider visiting your local fire station for in-person advice.
a blog about health, wellness, nutrition, and fitness from an epidemiologist / dietitian with personal trainer experience
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