Assuming the responsibility of care for a family member might be the greatest expression of love and loyalty that one human can show to another. Regardless of whether care is provided 24/7 or a couple of days a week , caregiving has the ability to be physically and emotionally draining. That is why, regardless of the benefits of caring for an aging parent, it is necessary for the caregiver to supply themselves with some of the same TLC that they give mom or dad.
Rested Caregivers-Better Care
Caregivers who are not over-stressed and frazzled provide a better standard of care and enjoy a healthier mindset. They are able to focus on the blessing of having their aging parent with them at home instead of a full-time facility. They find contentment in providing wonderful, caring care that no one else could deliver in quite the same loving fashion. Caregiving seems like one of the most satisfying jobs when the caregiver is healthy, rested and at peace.
Respite Care is Just the Ticket
However, keeping that state of mind is a tough balancing act when the caregiver does not take plenty of time for themselves. That is why it is so critical for caregivers to take weekend or even week long breaks where the focus is on them. Maybe the retreat is a cruise to Greece or a weekend at a local bed and breakfast. The place does not matter. What does matter is that the caregiver gets time to rest, relax and let go of some obligations for a time. Doing so makes them a far better caregiver and greatly benefits the care receiver.
Reluctant to Try Home Care?
Taking a break sounds great, but many caregivers are reluctant to do so. Maybe they don’t feel that family members and friends will be able to care for their loved one properly, or they are afraid to impose what they feel are their responsibilities onto someone else’s shoulders. Respite care is the clear, common sense solution in these situations. Highly trained, well qualified professionals employed by home care agencies provide specialized services within private homes. Many are experienced at working with people of various abilities and with wide ranging illnesses, making them qualified to assist even with the most complicated conditions of care receivers. Home care has the advantage of allowing the elder to remain in a familiar environment.
What About Assisted Living?
Another option for respite care is found at assisted living facilities where care receivers may take up residence for a brief, pre-determined period of time. Care receivers may benefit from increased activity and social interaction. It’s also reassuring to know that the older parent is living in a facility that gives round the clock medical care and has access to emergency services.
Happy Caregivers are Better Caregivers
Taking a break from caring for mom or dad is not a selfish act, nor is it one that should induce guilt. Instead, a break is an act of love for the self and for the care receiver. With a little quality time for themselves, care givers are prepared to give the best possible love and attention to their aging parents.