Respite means time off from any activity – it could be a 10 minute coffee break or four hours of not having to give care to another.
One of our professional Care Managers met with a family caregiver who had no idea there were options for time off from caregiving, other than hiring a caregiver, and was surprised to hear about the different options that existed in our community to give her time off from caring for her husband.
There are many unique “respite” programs in our area that offer anywhere from four to eight hours of respite – designed for dependent or older adults that actually are positive experiences for both partners.
The other option for families going out of the area is to hire a Care Manager to be your “on-call” sister/brother to oversee mom or dad while you are gone. The Care Manager is there to make decisions and ensure that your parents are well cared for and advocated for should you be gone during a crisis. If they need 24/7 care, a trained caregiver can step in and give you the break you need – be sure to have the Care Manager for those unexpected times too!
The third option is to try an assisted living facility for a short stay – this often feels like a vacation for the elder too – with the three lovely meals and all the activities.
Of course, you can design lots of ways to take time off that might differ from those discussed above. The important thing to remember is that everyone needs a break – love just isn’t enough. You need to re-fuel, have your breaks checked. Maybe take a vacation or just plain old down time is what every family caregiver needs more of!
Self-care equates to better care for the person you love – just do it!