What does a normal day look like for you as a family caregiver? For many people, it begins before sunrise, assisting a senior family member who may have trouble sleeping during the night and is in need of help, or at least somebody to speak to. After that, the day can be a bustle of activities: helping with personal care, preparing meals, running errands, providing transportation to exercise classes, medical appointments, or any other excursions – the list goes on and on.
What a normal day might not involve, however, is time to yourself, to take part in things you prefer or catching up with a friend over a relaxing lunch. Even entertaining such thoughts might make you feel guilty. Nevertheless, self-care is vital to your health and wellbeing as a caregiver. To take it a step further, the senior in your care also needs you to take care of yourself. Doing so helps you to be more patient, relaxed, and effective in providing care at home.
How Can I Possibly Take a Break?
It’s true: your caregiving job is essential. Someone you love is depending on you, and stepping away to care for yourself is not easy! To complicate matters further, the person in your care may balk at the very idea of having somebody else temporarily fill your role. The following advice will help you take needed time away from care while making sure the person you love will not only accept these breaks, but really enjoy spending time with a respite caregiver.
- Consider your words carefully. The manner in which you present the idea of bringing in a caregiver can make a significant difference in the senior’s comfort level. For instance, most of us wouldn’t take too kindly to the notion of a total stranger showing up to give us a bath! But wouldn’t it be nice to have someone available to help with preparing meals, housework, and laundry? You can always start out with these basic types of services and work your way up to a greater degree of care as required or as the senior and caregiver become familiar with one another.
- Use a compassionate but firm approach. Rather than asking for the senior’s approval to take time away, make it clear that you’ll be bringing in a trusted, friendly caregiver to help out around the house. Begin by inviting the caregiver to come over when you are there in the beginning, if this eases the transition for the elderly individual and/or for you. This allows the caregiver and senior to get acquainted with each other, as well as the chance for the caregiver to make note of any information or particular routines that are important to the senior.
- Check in while away. When you feel comfortable with the care provider and are ready to leave the house for some self-care, feel free to call to see how things are going. Or, you can ask the caregiver to jot down notes about how the day went and any problems that could have arisen. As you and your loved one gain confidence in the caregiver, you can leave for longer amounts of time and on a more routine schedule.
- Make certain you choose the best caregiver. It’s crucial to choose a professional caregiver from a reputable home care provider that has fully evaluated, background-checked, and trained their employees. An ideal caregiver has also been carefully matched up with your loved one according to compatibility, personality type, interests, and more, to ensure that a stronger and faster bond.
Grace Home Care is the ideal option for care at home services that allow you to take the time you need for self-care. As a professional provider of senior care in Topeka, KS, we hire only the very best caregivers to ensure the highest quality care for the people we serve. Reach out to us today at 785-286-2273 to find out more!