What does a standard day look like for you as a family caregiver? For many people, it begins before sunrise, helping a senior loved one who has difficulty sleeping through the night and is in need of assistance, or at least someone to talk to. After that, the day could be a flurry of activities: helping with personal care, preparing meals, running errands, providing transportation to exercise classes, medical appointments, or other outings – the list goes on and on.
What an average day might not include, however, is personal time for you, to take part in things you enjoy or catching up with a good friend over a relaxing dinner. Even contemplating such ideas might make you feel guilty. Yet self-care is really important to your health and wellness as a caregiver. To take it a step further, the person 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 care.
How Do I Possibly Take a Break?
It is true: your caregiving role is essential. A person you love is relying on you, and stepping away to care for yourself is not easy! To further complicate matters, the individual in your care may balk at the notion of having somebody else temporarily fill your shoes. The following tips will help you take necessary breaks from care while guaranteeing the senior you love will not only accept these breaks, but also actually enjoy spending time with a caregiver providing home health care services.
- Pick your words carefully. How you present the notion of bringing in a caregiver can make a big difference in the senior’s level of comfort. For instance, the majority of us wouldn’t normally take too kindly to the concept of a total stranger coming in to bathe us! But wouldn’t it be nice to have someone come in to help with housework, laundry, and preparing delicious meals? You can begin with these basic types of personal care services and work your way up to an increased level of care as required or as the senior and caregiver get to know each other.
- Use a sympathetic but assertive approach. Rather than asking for the senior’s permission to take time away, explain that you will be bringing in a trusted, friendly caregiver to help out around the house. Begin by inviting the caregiver to drop by while you are there at first, if this eases the transition for the older adult and/or for you. This allows the caregiver and senior to get to know each other, as well as the opportunity for the caregiver to make note of any information or special routines that are important to the person.
- Check in while away. Once you feel comfortable with the care provider and are ready to go out for some self-care, feel free to call to see how things are going. Or, you can ask the caregiver to take notes on how the day went and any problems that may have arisen. 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.
- Ensure you choose the right caregiver. It’s crucial to choose a skilled caregiver from a trustworthy senior care agency that has fully evaluated, background-checked, and trained their staff. An ideal caregiver has also been thoughtfully paired with your loved one based on compatibility, personality type, interests, and more, to ensure that a stronger and faster bond can develop.
Compassionate Nursing Services is the ideal choice for respite and home health care services that allow you to take the time needed for self-care. As a provider of Chesterfield home care services and caregiving in the surrounding areas, we hire only the very best caregivers to ensure the highest quality care for the older adults we serve. Call us today at 314-432-4312 to learn more!