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If you are one of the numerous individuals who act as a caregiver, it’s important that you take good care of your own health as well. Your pharmacist can offer advice to help you fulfill your caregiver role without putting your own health at risk.

Taking care of someone who is ill takes a lot of time and energy. People who do so usually do it out of devotion, without considering the impact that this can have on other aspects of their life (family life, relationship with their spouse, work life, etc.).

 

 

Taking Good Care Of Yourself First

A healthy diet is the base of good health. Indulging yourself with a treat once in a while (for example a glass of wine or a pastry) is fine; just make sure it doesn’t become a crutch that you use to relieve stress.

Exercise is excellent for your physical and mental health. No need to join a gym – you can just take a walk or dance around as you vacuum! The important thing is to be active every day, ideally for at least 30 minutes. Choose an activity that you enjoy and that fits into your busy schedule!

 

Managing Your Stress

Caregivers can have various sources of stress, such as:

  • New responsibilities for which they have little or no training (providing care, handling someone’s finances, etc.)
  • Lack of time to deal with many obligations
  • Unrealistic expectations towards their own abilities or those of the person they are caring for
  • Disagreements with the person they are caring for or other members of the family
  • Feeling isolated

The first step is to identify the source of your stress so that you can look for solutions and seek help if required.

At the same time, adopting some healthy habits can help you cope with stress better. For example, you can try meditating or doing breathing exercises, or even take a few minutes a day to do a relaxing activity (taking a hot bath, reading before bed, listening to music, etc.). It’s also helpful to have someone you can confide in (a friend, colleague or health professional) so that you can verbalize your emotions and gain some perspective on them.

 

Task Sharing

As a caregiver, you may sometimes feel that you are the only person who can do it all, but help is available. To help you have a better global view of the tasks at hand, make a list of what needs to be done and put it in order of priority. Next, choose your battles and delegate. If you don’t have anyone who can help, don’t hesitate to call aid agencies.

 

Many Organziations Can Help

There are various services to help in every area of life, such as:

  • Services that can help with housework or grocery shopping
  • Prepared meal delivery services
  • Adapted transportation services
  • Day or respite services where the ill person can spend a few hours or days
  • Home nursing services
  • Caregiver support and exchange groups
  • Legal or financial advice services
  • If you need help but aren’t sure which organization to contact, don’t hesitate to consult your pharmacist. They can assist in connecting you with the right services. You can also use the 211 service to find support available in your area.

Recognizing The Signs Of Burnout

When we are completely invested in a caregiver relationship, it’s easy to ignore our signs of distress. However, it’s important to recognize them as soon as possible so that we can make the necessary changes or get the help we need.

If you are experiencing any of the following situations, consult your pharmacist, who can offer some support and help you find the resources you need:

  • Significant fatigue or exhaustion
  • Irritability, impatience
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of appetite, or eating more than usual
  • Feeling overwhelmed by the situation
  • Feeling guilty for not being able to do more

Your Pharmacist Is Here To Help

Whether it’s to answer your questions regarding a person’s medication or just to listen and support you in your caregiver role, your pharmacist is here to help!

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​It is probably one of the easiest ways to prevent millions of cases of cancer each year—sunscreen. However, most of us still forget to slather on the sunscreen. Canadian men and women regularly forget to put sunscreen on their faces and other exposed skin before heading outside for more than an hour.

So, what do you need to know about protecting your skin from the sun? 

 

 

Here are 10 tips to keep in mind as you finish out the summer.

  1. Use sunscreen everyday even if it’s cloudy outside.
  2. Apply at least one ounce of sunscreen (enough to fill a shot glass) at least 15 to 30 minutes before going outside. Also use a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.
  3. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. Make sure it is water resistant and has a SPF of 30 or higher. Other sunscreens may help keep you from getting sunburned, but they won’t protect against skin cancer.
  4. Reapply sunscreen every two hours. Reapply every hour if you are swimming or sweating.
  5. Be extra careful around water and sand. These surfaces reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of getting a sunburn.
  6. Keep babies younger than 6 months old completely covered and in the shade.
  7. Limit the amount of time you’re in the sun between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. This is when the sun's rays are the most intense. Practice the shadow rule: if your shadow is shorter than you, the sun's rays are at their strongest, and you should find shade.
  8. If possible, wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Dark clothing with tightly woven fabric blocks more sun than white or loosely woven fabrics. For additional protection, look for clothes made with special sun-protective materials.
  9. Accessorize with a hat that shades your face, neck, and ears and a pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses with lenses that have 99% to 100% UV absorption provide optimal protection for the eyes and the surrounding skin.
  10. Be even more cautious if you are taking medications that may make you more sensitive to the sun. These include specific types of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, antifungals, blood pressure medications, and chemotherapies.

 

 

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Second Dose Eligibility

Please see below for eligibilty to receive your second dose of Astra Zeneca:

  • Individuals who received AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine for their first dose and choose to receive the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine for their second dose may receive their second dose at least 8 weeks after their first dose, unless they are eligible for an earlier second dose based on the exception below.
  • Exception: individuals with certain health conditions as documented in a letter from a health care provider, may receive their second dose as early as 4 weeks.
  • Individuals who are at least 18 years old who received the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna mRNA vaccine for their first dose and had a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis to that vaccine as assessed by an allergist / immunologist and documented in a COVID-19 Vaccination: Allergy Form, may receive their second dose with the AstraZeneca / COVISHIELD vaccine if: ▪ at least 21 days have passed since their first dose with the Pfizer-BioNTech vacchine; or ▪ at least 28 days have passed since their first dose with the Moderna vaccine. 

 

Please see below for eligibilty to receive your second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine AND COVID-19 vaccine MODERNA

  • Individuals who received their first dose of AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine and choose to receive one of the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) as their second dose may receive their second dose at least 8 weeks after their first dose, unless they are eligible for an earlier second dose based on the exception below.
  • Exception: individuals with certain health conditions as documented in a letter from a health care provider, as more particularly described here, may receive their second dose as early as 4 weeks.
  • Individuals who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) may receive their second dose at an interval of up to 16 weeks, unless they are eligible for an earlier second dose based on the following rules.

       As of June 28, 2021:

  • Individuals who are 18 years of age or older, or if;
  • at least 21 days have passed since their first dose with the Pfizer-BioNTech vacchine; or
  • at least 28 days have passed since their first dose with the Moderna vaccine.

         As of July 5, 2021:

  • Individuals who are 12 to 17 years of age, if at least 21 days have passed since their first dose. These individuals are only eligible to receive a second dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.
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Ashley Resnik
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July 5, 2021
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