There are over 50 million caregivers providing unpaid help to loved ones in the home. Dealing with these challenges that can drain physical, emotional and financial resources can lead to real conditions called “caregiver fatigue and burnout.” There is a challenge to take time away from caregiving duties due to guilt, lack of time, or financial worries
Some of the benefits of respite care may seem obvious. But listing them will help you to really see what you can gain from taking a break.
- Refill your energy stores. Family caregivers can be afraid to take a break. Maybe because of the distress of thinking their loved one could be needing them when they’re not there. With a respite break having another trustworthy person handling the family members needs, the family caregiver can more easily take the much-needed rest they need.
- Relaxation. Being able to stop and take a breath for themselves, family caregivers realize that though they know they love her and that one’s needs better than anybody, a qualified care provider can make it easier for them to actually let go for short periods of time.
- Connecting with others. Many times family caregivers neglect their own needs to socialize with other family members and friends. Now they can have a free time to have a cup of tea or a little chat at least.
- Dress rehearsal for other living situations. If the family caregiver is considering moving their loved one to another environment,., This could be the time to try out somewhere for just four or five days. If in the future the loved one definitely needs a different kind of place to live, the decision may be easier about where that might be.
- Remembering who they are. Since family caregivers are on duty 24/7 sometimes it’s easy to lose a sense of self, the true identity. Taking a short recess from those obligations gives a family caregiver a chance to remember and maintain who they really are.
The bottom line is that the primary caregiver wants to be available for the long term. That means taking care of themselves physically, emotionally, and mentally. Respite care isn’t just a nice idea, it is essential for the caregivers survival. And this survival means that their loved one will have the benefit of their loving care for the long run.
In the next blog we will explore how to hire care providers to relieve the stressors of family caregiving.