What does a standard day look like for you as a family caregiver? For many, it starts before dawn, helping an older member of the family who may have issues sleeping throughout the night and is in need of support, or at least someone to talk to. From there, the day can be a flurry of activities: preparing meals, running errands, helping with personal care and hygiene, providing transportation to medical appointments, exercise classes, or other excursions – the list goes on and on.
What a normal day may well not involve, however, is time to yourself, to take part in things you enjoy doing or catching up with a good friend over a relaxing lunch. Even contemplating such ideas might make you feel guilty. But taking care of yourself is really important to your health and wellbeing as a caregiver. To take it a step further, the person you are caring for also needs you to care for yourself. Doing this helps you have more patience, be more relaxed, and provide more effective care.
How Do I Possibly Take Time Off?
It’s true: your caregiving role is extremely important. A person you love is relying on you, and taking time away to care for yourself isn’t easy! To further complicate matters, the senior in your care may balk at the notion of having somebody else temporarily fill your role. These tips will help you to take necessary breaks from caregiving while making certain the person you love will not only accept these breaks, but really enjoy receiving home care services from 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 notion of a stranger coming in to give us a bath! But wouldn’t it be lovely to have someone available to help with preparing meals, housework, and laundry? You can always start with these basic kinds of home care services and work your way up to a higher level of care as needed or as the senior and caregiver become familiar with each other.
- Use a friendly but firm approach. Instead of asking for the senior’s approval to take time away, clearly state that you will be bringing in a trusted, friendly caregiver to help out around the house. Begin by inviting the caregiver to come over when you are there initially, if this eases the transition for the elderly individual and/or for you. This permits the senior and caregiver to become familiar with each other, as well as the opportunity for the caregiver to observe any specific routines or other details that are important to the person.
- Check in while away. When you feel comfortable with the caregiver and are ready to go out for some self-care, feel free to call to see how things are going. Or, you can ask the caregiver to make notes about how the day went and any issues that may have arisen. As you and your loved one gain confidence in the caregiver, you can leave for longer amounts of time and on a more frequent schedule.
- Make certain you find the best caregiver. It’s imperative to choose a professional caregiver from a credible home care provider that has fully evaluated, background-checked, and trained their employees. An ideal caregiver has also been carefully paired with your loved one according to interests, compatibility, personality type, and more, to allow a stronger and faster bond to develop.
Live Free Home Health Care, a leading provider of senior care services in Concord, NH and the surrounding areas, is the best option for respite care and home care services that enable you to take the time you need for self-care. As a trusted home care provider, we hire only the very best caregivers to ensure consistent, reliable care for the older adults we serve. Reach out to us today at 603-217-0149 to discover more!