What does a typical day look like for you as a family caregiver? For many individuals, it begins before sunrise, helping an older family member who has issues sleeping during the night and is in need of help, or at least somebody to speak to. From there, the day can be a bustle of activity: helping with personal care, preparing meals, running errands, providing transportation to exercise classes, medical appointments, or other excursions – the list goes on and on.
What a typical day may NOT involve, however, is time for self-care, to take part in hobbies you enjoy or catching up with a good friend over a relaxing dinner. Even entertaining such ideas might make you feel guilty. Nevertheless, self-care is extremely important to your health and wellness as a caregiver. To take it a step further, the senior in your care also needs you to care for yourself. Respite for family caregivers allows you to be more patient, relaxed, and effective in providing care.
How Do I Possibly Take a Break?
It is true: your caregiving role is vital. Your loved one is depending on you, and stepping away to take care of yourself is not easy! To complicate matters further, the senior in your care may balk at the very idea of having another person temporarily fill your shoes. The following advice can help you take needed breaks from caregiving while making sure the person you love will not only accept these breaks, but also really enjoy being with a respite caregiver.
- Select your words carefully. The way in which you present the idea of bringing in a caregiver can make a significant difference in the senior’s level of comfort. As an example, most of us would not take too kindly to the idea of a stranger coming in to bathe us! But wouldn’t it be nice to have someone come in to help with housework, laundry, and preparing delicious meals? You can start out with these basic types of services and work your way up to a greater level of care as required or as the senior and caregiver get to know each other.
- Use a kind but assertive approach. As opposed to asking for the senior’s approval to take some time away, make clear that you’ll be bringing in a trusted, friendly care provider to help out around the house. Start by inviting the caregiver to come by while you are there at first, if this eases the transition for the senior and/or for you. This permits the caregiver and senior to get to know each other, along with the opportunity for the caregiver to observe any information or particular routines that are important to the person.
- Check in while away. Once you feel comfortable with the care provider and are ready to leave the house for some self-care, feel free to call to check and see how things are going. Or, you can ask the caregiver to take notes on how the day went and any questions that might have come up. As you and the senior get comfortable with the caregiver, you can step away for longer periods of time and on a more regular schedule.
- Be sure you find the right caregiver. It is extremely important to select a professional caregiver from a senior care agency that has fully screened, background-checked, and trained their employees. An ideal caregiver has also been thoughtfully matched with your loved one according to interests, compatibility, personality type, and more, to ensure that a stronger and faster bond can develop.
Inspired Home Care is the best option for respite for family caregivers that enables you to take the time needed for self-care. As a professional provider of senior care in Barrington and the surrounding areas, we hire only the very best caregivers to guarantee exceptional care for the people we serve. Contact us today at 847-787-7572 to discover more!