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Caregiving is not just about tending to physical health, there is an obligation to help with emotional and mental health as well. It’s important to know how to tend to emotional well-being to optimize overall health. We will go over some ways to do this below.

• When possible, promote physical activity: Exercise has been found to have many health benefits. These extend to emotional and mental health as well.

• Encourage independence: If there are any tasks loved ones can do on their own, let them. Also, give acknowledgement to them when they do these tasks. If possible, let them make decisions about their day such as what to eat, what to wear, etc.

• Provide opportunities for spiritual experiences: If religion has been an important part of your loved one’s life, think of ways to incorporate that at home. Watch services on tv, engage in prayer before meals, or read and study religious texts together. If he or she isn’t religious, there are still ways to engage spirituality. Watching sunrises or sunsets and setting aside time each day for inner reflection are great ways to start.

Emotional and mental health are very important to overall well-being. When providing care to loved ones, remember to attend to these aspects of care.

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