Misconceptions about respite can sometimes mean that caregivers are reluctant to take time away from caregiving. That can lead to bigger problems down the road.
Respite Is Lots of Things for Lots of People
There is no one size fits all for respite. For some caregivers, respite is about taking two weeks and going on a long-overdue vacation. For other caregivers, respite is about running errands or attending support group meetings. The reality is that respite can fit into whatever configuration you need in order to help you to be the best caregiver you can possibly be. You might even find that you need a mix of a variety of different types of respite solutions.
What Do You Need?
The first step in this process might be finding out what it is that you need the most. Are you overwhelmed because you never have time to yourself? Then an afternoon of support from elder care providers might allow you to have that time that you need. Very often, though, caregivers have denied themselves and their own needs for so long that you might not realize or remember what you need.
Respite Can Help You Figure out What You Need
Having the time to figure out what you need can be a golden opportunity in itself. You’ll know that your senior is in good hands and you can focus just on what is going on with you. That’s something you might not have done for quite some time, especially if you’ve been caring for your senior for a while.
It’s Time Away, So Use Respite That Way
Something you don’t want to start doing is to take respite time and then check in every so often, trying to keep tabs on what is going on with your senior. Make sure that elder care providers have your contact information and that they’re able to reach you and then go do your thing. If you’re not using that time away just for yourself, you’re not going to get the most benefit from it.
You’re Not a Horrible Caregiver or Person
Don’t tell yourself that you’re a bad caregiver or worse, a bad person, because you need time away. Needing time for yourself is normal and healthy. You’re being a more responsible caregiver by taking time away and ensuring that your senior is with someone trustworthy while you’re away.
If you’ve been avoiding respite, now might be the time to give it another try. You might have a different perspective now.