What does a normal day look like for you as a family caregiver? For a lot of people, it begins before sunrise, assisting a senior member of the family who may have trouble sleeping throughout the night and is in need of assistance, or at least someone to talk to. From that point, the day may be a bustle of activities: helping with personal care, preparing meals, running errands, providing transportation to exercise classes, medical appointments, or other outings – the list seems never-ending.
What a typical day might not include, however, is personal time for you, to engage in activities you prefer or catching up with a friend over a relaxing lunch. Even contemplating such ideas might make you feel guilty. But caring for yourself is vital to your health and wellbeing as a caregiver. To take it a step further, the person in your care also needs you to look after yourself. Doing so helps you have more patience, be more relaxed, and provide more effective care.
How Do I Possibly Take Time Away?
It’s true: your caregiving role is essential. Someone you love is relying on you, and stepping away to tend to yourself isn’t easy! To complicate matters further, the person in your care may resist the very idea of having another person temporarily fill your role. These tips can help family caregivers recharge while making sure the senior will not only accept these breaks, but also genuinely delight in spending time with a respite caregiver.
- Choose your words carefully. The manner in which you present the notion of bringing in a caregiver can make all the difference in the senior’s comfort level. For instance, the majority of us wouldn’t take too kindly to the notion of a new person showing up to give us a bath! But wouldn’t it be nice to have someone available to help with preparing meals, housework, and laundry? You can focus on these basic forms of services and work your way up to a greater degree of care as required or as the senior and caregiver become familiar with one another.
- Use a sympathetic but assertive approach. Rather than asking for the senior’s approval to take time away, make it clear that you will be bringing in a trusted, friendly caregiver to help around the house. Start by inviting the caregiver to come over while you are there in the beginning, if this eases the transition for the older adult and/or for you. This permits the senior and caregiver to become familiar with one another, along with the chance for the caregiver to make note of any particular routines or other details that are important to the person.
- Check in while away. When you feel comfortable with the care provider and are ready to leave the house for some self-care, feel free to call to see how things are going. Or, you can ask the caregiver to take notes about how the day went and any problems that may have occurred. As you and your loved one get comfortable with the caregiver, you can leave for longer periods of time and on a more frequent basis.
- Be sure you find the best caregiver. It is very important to select an experienced caregiver from a credible agency that has fully screened, background-checked, and trained their employees. An ideal caregiver has also been carefully matched with your loved one based on interests, compatibility, personality type, and more, to enable a stronger and faster bond to develop.
Home With You Senior Care is the perfect choice for respite care services that enable you to take the time you need for self-care. As a leading provider of senior care in Ellicott City and the surrounding communities, we hire only the very best caregivers to guarantee the highest quality care for the seniors we serve. Contact us today at 410-756-0959 to discover more.