What does a typical day look like for you as a family caregiver? For many individuals, it begins before sunrise, assisting an older loved one who may have issues sleeping throughout the night and is in need of help, or at least somebody to talk to. From there, the day may be a bustle of activities: helping with personal care, preparing meals, running errands, providing transportation to exercise classes, medical appointments, or any other outings – the list goes on and on.
What an average day might not involve, however, is time to yourself, to take part in activities you prefer or catching up with a friend over a leisurely dinner. Even entertaining such thoughts might make you feel guilty. Yet self-care is very important to your health and wellness as a caregiver. To take it a step further, the person in your care also needs you to take care of yourself. Doing so helps you to be more patient, relaxed, and effective in providing care.
How Do I Possibly Take Time Away?
It’s true: your caregiving job is vital. Someone you love is depending on you, and stepping away to care for yourself isn’t easy! To further complicate matters, the person in your care may resist the very idea of having another individual temporarily fill your shoes. The following tips will help you take needed time away from caregiving while making sure the senior you love will not only accept these breaks, but genuinely delight in spending some time with a caregiver providing respite care services.
- Choose your words carefully. The way you present the notion of bringing in a caregiver can make all the difference in the senior’s level of comfort. As an example, many of us wouldn’t normally take too kindly to the thought of a stranger showing up to give us a bath! But wouldn’t it be a treat to have someone come in to help with preparing meals, doing housework, and taking care of laundry? You can begin with these basic forms of respite care services and work your way up to a greater level of care as needed or as the senior and caregiver get to know one another.
- Use a gentle but assertive approach. Instead of asking for the senior’s authorization to take some time away, explain that you’ll be bringing in a trusted, friendly caregiver to help out around the house. Start by inviting the caregiver to drop by while you’re there at first, if this eases the transition for the senior and/or for you. This allows the caregiver and senior to get to know each other, along with the chance for the caregiver to make note of any information or particular routines that are important to the person.
- Check in while away. Whenever you feel comfortable with the care provider and are ready to leave the house for a break, feel free to call to see how things are going. Or, you can ask the caregiver to take notes on how the day went and any problems that might have occurred. As you and the senior gain confidence in the caregiver, you can leave for longer amounts of time and on a more frequent basis.
- Make certain you choose the best caregiver. It’s crucial to choose a skilled caregiver from a credible agency that has fully evaluated, background-checked, and trained their employees. An ideal caregiver has also been thoughtfully paired with your loved one according to compatibility, personality type, interests, and more, in order for a stronger and faster bond to develop.
Abby Senior Care is the ideal option for respite care services that enable you to take the time needed for self-care. As an award-winning provider of home care in Cherry Hills Village and the surrounding areas, we hire only the very best caregivers to ensure the highest quality care for the older adults we serve. Contact us today to discover more!