Oct 15, 2019 by Anonymous
Respite care for primary caregivers is not self-indulgent. In fact, it’s a necessity. Caring for an older or ill family member can be hugely rewarding and bring the two of you closer - but being consumed by it will drain you physically and emotionally and eventually cause caregiver burnout.
That’s why it’s important for caregivers to seek occasional respite from their in-home care responsibilities, and worry about their own needs. Whether it’s for just a few hours a week to run personal errands - or longer to take a much-needed vacation you've been dreaming of. Respite services from care providers offer you the chance to de-stress, restore your physical and mental energy, and keep your own life in balance.
We understand that adult day care or assisted living in a nursing home or other care facility isn't everyone's ideal choice to provide their loved one with long-term care. And, who better to provide assistance to the care recipient than their own family member? Still, it's important to recognize when you can use home respite care.
The Various Benefits of Respite Care
Respite care for loved ones provides relief for everyone involved. Respite care programs provide short-term breaks for caregivers for their own wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of the senior they are caring for. After all, you want to be at your very best, both physically and mentally. There are many benefits to be had through respite programs. They include having:
- Leisure time for renewal – This is your time for yourself. Read a book, take a walk, browse the internet, visit a museum or art gallery, listen to music – whatever it is that brings you a sense of joy and calm.
- A change of setting – A break from routine home health caregiving can help you relax, provide you a new perspective on your situation, and gives you a chance to clear your head to come up with fresh solutions and ideas to problems or concerns.
- Pleasure and enjoyment – As a caregiver and homemaker, you must remember that you have the right to enjoy life. You also have absolutely no reason to feel guilty about turning to respite care providers.
- A renewed sense of self – You are a person who also deserves to live your life and keep a firm grip on your own identity.
- Socialization – Don’t isolate yourself or feel alone. Take this time to engage with friends, family, and co-workers by sharing conversation, meals, and experiences.
When You Decide to Pursue Respite Care
- Involve your care recipient. When planning time off from your caregiving duties, make sure to keep your loved one informed. Involve the senior in deciding how much time you will be away, and who will fill in for you when you’re gone. Discuss the types of respite you are using and express how he or she will benefit from you being more relaxed and refreshed. Reinforce the concept that they will also benefit from socializing with people other than just you.
- Acknowledge your role. A survey conducted by the National Family Caregivers Association on a group of family caregivers found that family caregivers often refuse to accept the fact that caregiving is a separate role from their role as a spouse or parent. The survey found that altering this attitude and accepting that caregiving is a separate role had a profound impact on their situations.
- Evaluate your needs. Determine what home care or health care will be needed in your absence and if there are special needs or caregiver skills needed to take care of your loved one.
- Remain organized. Use a planner or calendar to organize and plan for respite assistance, and don’t forget to schedule time for yourself. Pencil in some respite time and indicate how you plan on using it.
- Create a "me" space. Once you’ve decided on your care options and having respite relief, find a quiet place for yourself, whether it’s a spare bedroom, an outside porch, or simply a corner of a room. There's no reason you should have to leave the house to get some alone time to enjoy hobbies, relax – and do what you love the most.
- Understand your feelings. Bottling up your emotions is never a good idea for anybody. It takes a toll on both your mental and physical health. Share any feelings of frustration with family and friends. Seek support from others who are in a similar situation. Talk with a professional counselor, or join a caregiver support group.
- Remember it's OK to say “no” when necessary. Accept the fact that you can't do everything, and resist the urge to take on more than you can handle. If someone asks you to do something that you just can’t take on, be honest, explain why you can’t - and don't feel badly about it.
- Stay positive. Try your best to maintain an optimistic attitude and not dwell on the negative. Hold a family meeting or call a senior care mediator to help address and resolve conflicts amongst siblings and other relatives. Remember that you should be proud of all that you are doing, and focus on the rewards of caring for someone you love.
You Deserve a Break - Comfort Keepers® Somerset Can Help
Taking care of a loved one can be an around-the-clock-job - but what will happen to them in the scenario you become physically ill or mentally exhausted from overwork and emotions? Comfort Keepers Somerset's trained and carefully screened in-home caregivers will provide care for your loved one, so you can fully enjoy your time off - with peace of mind.
We’ll perform household tasks such as preparing meals, making sure your loved one is safe and taking medications, run errands, get them to appointments, and more. Contact us today at (606) 676-9888 to learn more about our respite care services, or for more info about our other home care services such as Alzheimer's and Dementia Care, Personal Care, and more. While we do not accept Medicare or Medicaid, we can discuss respite care costs and your payment options.