If you’ve been a caregiver for any amount of time, you might have heard the term respite care. This means that you’re taking a break from caregiving and other people, such as senior care providers or other family members, are stepping in to cover for you with your loved one’s care.
All Caregivers Need Respite
Some caregivers believe that respite is only for the caregivers that are the most troubled by caregiving or who have the most complicated tasks associated with caregiving. The reality, however, is that respite care is for all caregivers. In fact, the earlier in your caregiving journey that you incorporate respite, the better your overall journey is likely to go.
Respite Can Be Long or Short
People who are just learning about respite often aren’t sure what it entails in terms of time away. Respite can be a lengthy session, such as a week or two away, or just a couple of hours on an afternoon. Respite can be as long, short, or often as you and your elderly loved one need it to be. That is how respite is able to meet so many needs for you, because it’s flexible.
Schedule Respite into Your Calendar
There may be plenty of times that you have to have respite help because you’ve got a family emergency or some other issue. Those are situations that you can’t really plan for in advance. But that’s not all that respite is. Respite can also be a regularly scheduled break away from your regular caregiver duties. In fact, if you embrace that approach, you can take regular time off to recharge and to engage in activities that you enjoy.
Avoid Feeling Guilty When it Comes to Respite
Respite is not to make you feel guilty or as if you’re a bad caregiver. What it actually does is make you a better caregiver because you’re able to slow down a bit and take time just for yourself. Feeling guilty about that time away is like feeling guilty for taking the time to sleep every night.
If you’re still not comfortable with respite care, take it slowly. You’ll gradually start to see how much good it does for you and for your elderly loved one.