The holidays are upon us and resolution season has begun. Most of your friends and coworkers will likely resolve to take better care of themselves by eating right and working out. But if you’re a caregiver, taking care of yourself also means taking a break. So after the champagne has popped and the confetti has fallen, why not resolve to take time for yourself? Respite is essential for the health and well-being of family caregivers.
But most family caregivers feel guilty when they schedule time for themselves. There are so many other things on the to-do list, like running errands, spending time with the kids, making meals and paying bills. You may even try to get to mom’s house before work every morning to get her up and dressed for the day. If it feels like a struggle to get through each day, how can you even think of carving out more time for yourself? If your schedule is this demanding, you may need some respite. A 2010 study by MetLife and the National Alliance for Caregiving found that caregiving employees were more likely to report health problems, costing employers more in insurance premiums. Using respite care to take time off can allow you to stay attuned to your own physical and mental health needs, avoid burnout and ultimately be a better caregiver.
- There isn’t one type of respite: Whether your loved one requires skilled care, such as a nurse, or the non-medical support of a home health aide, numerous respite care options are available. Respite can mean asking a friend or family member to spend time with your dad one evening a week so you and your spouse can have a night out. Or paying a caregiver to help take your Mom to a medical appointment so you can go to an exercise class.
- Asking for help is a sign of strength: It isn’t easy to ask for help. It means acknowledging you can’t do it all. Seeking out respite care is a good way to start. Our Senior Care Advisors are available to help you find the best respite care options that match your needs- and the needs of your loved one.
- Start small: Taking just a few hours away from your caregiving role can help you feel rejuvenated. Some caregivers devote just a few minutes a day to respite- perhaps meditating, stretching or a quick walk around the block. And pay attention to those aches, pains, sleepless nights and mood changes. It’s your body’s way of telling you you’re depleted. In order to give to others, we must learn to first give to ourselves.
To learn more about the benefits of respite care check out this article, and call 855-772-2730 to speak with a Senior Care Advisor. We look forward to speaking with you.