Taking care of family is a full-time job with no call-outs, sick time, or vacation. If you’re one of the millions of Americans caregiving an elderly parent or special needs child, you probably need a break.
In the U.S., an estimated 1 and 5 kids have a special healthcare need with the numbers expected to increase, according to the Washington Post. Even more alarming is that 40 percent of parents with a disability sacrifice income and become a full-time caregiver.
But what happens if your parent needs full-time caregiving? According to PewResearch, there are currently an estimated “40.4 million American unpaid caregivers of adults 65 and older.”
How do you handle raising your children, a significant other, a career, and still maintain balance?
Read along as we discuss respite care and what it provides for caregivers.
Tips For Taking Care of Family
Taking care of family is something many of is us do without thinking twice. When your loved one needs help, then you provide it.
But being a full-time caregiver, employee, parent, and spouse might lead to significant burnout.
What’s a dedicated son or daughter to do?
While respite care is known for helping parents of special needs children, it’s also a solution for caregivers of elderly parents.
People who use respite care can schedule appointments, shopping, or alone time.
Respite care provides support for the caregiver to receive a break for a short time. During the respite care, a trained professional complete the tasks the primary caregiver performs.
The location of the respite care varies, but it might occur within the home or an adult daycare center.
The length of respite care lasts for a few hours or a couple of days depending on the individual need.
Below are some things a primary caregiver could do during a respite care break.
Often working adults can’t hang out because of personal and professional obligations, but when you’re a caregiver, a lack of free time is common.
When given the opportunity, call up your friends for a fun night on the town. Getting away from your home and responsibilities will help you feel better.
If you have the time, money, and respite care, consider going away for the weekend. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, enjoying a few nights in a bed and breakfast could recharge your batteries.
A mini-break could raise your energy and remove the heavy emotional burden caregivers sometimes experience.
A spa day is perfect for a stressed-out caregiver. Receiving a massage, facial, manicure, or pedicure is the perfect way to feel like your old self again.
When you look good, it boosts confidence and helps you accomplish goals. Plus, being relaxed might be difficult as a caregiver, so coming home calm is a bonus.
Take a Nap
People who aren’t caregivers might take for granted their ability to nap when needed. But if you’re responsible for multiple tasks and people snoozing on the couch isn’t a priority.
If you have the opportunity to gain extra rest, this is the perfect time to do it.
See a Movie, Play, Or Concert
Treat yourself to a movie, play, or concert if you have the chance. Little outings like these won’t happen every week, but when they do occur, it’s memorable.
Take The First Step
Taking care of family is a noble, but exhausting job. When you feel the onset of burnout, then it’s time for self-care. Scheduling respite care isn’t selfish. It’s necessary for a caregiver because you need personal time too.
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