Are you taking respite time as a caregiver? If not, you might have a laundry list of reasons for not taking that time. Instead, put some energy toward ensuring that you do have regular respite time available.
Determine What You Need
You know what your senior needs, most likely, but do you have a full understanding of what you need? You probably need more time than you’re giving yourself. Do you have classes, appointments, or meetings that you want to attend? How about meetups with friends or time alone? Get clear on what you’re going to do with your respite time and add it all up.
Line up Your Backups
Now that you know how much time you need, you have to find your backups. Sometimes family members may be willing and able to fill in for you. But if that’s the only option you’re counting on, you’re more likely to back away from taking the time you need. Hiring home care providers is one of the best ways to have respite time regularly and without feeling guilty.
Let Everyone Know What to Expect
Once you’ve got a plan, it’s time to let everyone know what to expect. The people taking over for you need to know what to do for your senior. Having an information folder that you add to as necessary is wonderful for this. Talk to your elderly family member and let her know when you’ll be back and who will be with her. As you do this more often, she’ll be more comfortable with the idea.
Stop Asking for Permission
Another mistake that caregivers often make is that they seek permission to take time away. This is a normal feeling because you feel responsible for being there for every moment with your senior. You don’t need permission, though, and keeping yourself in a position of needing that approval is going to keep you locked out of the respite you need.
Make sure that now that you have a plan you follow through with it. Taking respite time is a normal part of the caregiving process. By making sure you take that time for yourself you’re putting yourself in the right position to be able to jump right back in again.
Getting the respite time that you need is truly essential. You might think at first that it’s optional, but that’s a mistake. If you don’t take time away, you’re going to run yourself down and get yourself into a serious deficit. By taking respite time, you’re reinforcing to yourself that you and your needs matter.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Middleburg, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.
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