What does a normal day look like for you as a family caregiver? For many, it begins before dawn, helping an older relative who has difficulty sleeping during the night and is in need of help, or at least someone to speak to. From that point, the day could be a flurry of activity: preparing meals, running errands, helping with personal care and hygiene, providing transportation to medical appointments, exercise classes, or any other excursions – the list continues.
What a normal day may well not consist of, however, is time to yourself, to take part in activities you enjoy or catching up with a friend over a relaxing lunch. Even contemplating such ideas might make you feel guilty. Nevertheless, self-care is extremely important to your overall health as a caregiver. To take it a step further, the senior you are caring for also needs you to take care of yourself. Doing this enables you to be more patient, relaxed, and effective in providing at-home care assistance.
How Do I Possibly Take a Break?
It’s true: your caregiving job is important. Someone you love is depending on you, and taking time away to look after yourself isn’t easy! To complicate matters further, the person in your care may balk at the idea of having another person temporarily fill your shoes. The following advice will help you to take needed time away from care while guaranteeing the senior you love will not only accept these breaks, but also genuinely enjoy spending time with a respite caregiver.
- Select your words carefully. The way you present the notion of bringing in a caregiver can make a significant difference in the senior’s comfort level. For example, many people wouldn’t take too kindly to the notion of a total stranger showing up to give us a bath! But wouldn’t it be a treat to have someone come in to help with housework, laundry, and preparing delicious meals? You can start with these basic forms of at-home care assistance and work your way up to a greater degree of care as needed or as the senior and caregiver become familiar with one another.
- Use a kind but firm approach. As opposed to asking for the senior’s approval to take time away, tell the person that you will be bringing in a trusted, friendly caregiver to help out around the house. Start by inviting the caregiver to come by while you’re there at first, if this eases the transition for the elderly individual and/or for you. This enables the senior and caregiver to get to know each other, while providing the chance for the caregiver to make note of any specific routines or other details that are important to the senior.
- Check in while away. When you feel comfortable with the care provider and are prepared 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 about how the day went and any problems that may have occurred. As you and your loved one gain confidence in the caregiver, you can leave for extended periods of time and on a more frequent basis.
- Be sure you choose the best caregiver. It’s extremely important to choose an experienced caregiver from a trustworthy senior care agency that has fully evaluated, background-checked, and trained their staff. An ideal caregiver has also been carefully paired with your loved one based on compatibility, personality types, interests, and more, to ensure that a stronger and faster bond develops.
Morning Glory Home Care is the ideal choice for respite care services that enable you to take the time needed for self-care. As a professional provider of home health care in Granite City, IL and the nearby areas, we hire only the very best caregivers to ensure the highest levels of care for the older adults we serve. Reach out to us today at 618-667-8400 to get more information!