What does a regular day look like for you as a family caregiver? For a lot of people, it begins before sunrise, assisting a senior member of the family who may have trouble sleeping during the night and is in need of assistance, or at least someone to talk to. From there, the day could be a bustle of activities: preparing meals, running errands, helping with personal care and hygiene, providing transportation to medical appointments, exercise classes, or other excursions – the list may seem never-ending.
What an average day might not involve, however, is time to yourself, to engage in hobbies you enjoy or catching up with a good friend over a leisurely lunch. Even entertaining such thoughts might leave you with feelings of guilt. But caring for yourself is vital to your overall health as a caregiver. To take it a step further, the person in your care also needs you to look after yourself. Doing this enables you to be more patient, relaxed, and effective in providing care.
How Do I Possibly Take Time Away?
It’s true: your caregiving role is crucial. Someone you love is depending on you, and taking time away to care for yourself is not easy! To complicate matters further, the person in your care may resist the very idea of having another person temporarily fill your role. These tips will help you take needed time away from care while ensuring the person you love will not only accept these breaks, but genuinely delight in spending some time with a respite caregiver.
- Pick your words carefully. The way 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 would not take too kindly to the idea of a total stranger showing up to give us a bath! But wouldn’t it be lovely to have someone come to help with grocery shopping and running errands? You can always begin with these basic kinds of elderly care services and work your way up to a higher degree of care as required or as the senior and caregiver become familiar with each other.
- Use a sympathetic but firm approach. Instead of asking for the senior’s approval to take some time away, explain that you’ll be bringing in a trusted, friendly caregiver to help around the house. Start by inviting the caregiver to stop by when you are there at first, if this eases the transition for the older adult and/or for you. This allows the senior and caregiver to get to know one another, as well as the opportunity for the caregiver to make note of any special information or routines that are important to the person.
- Check in while away. Once you feel comfortable with the caregiver and are prepared 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 about how the day went and any issues that might have occurred. As you and your loved one gain confidence in the caregiver, you can leave for longer amounts of time and on a more routine basis.
- Be sure you choose the right caregiver. It’s crucial to select a professional caregiver from a respected senior care agency that has fully screened, background-checked, and trained their employees. An ideal caregiver has also been carefully matched with your loved one according to interests, compatibility, personality type, and more, to allow a stronger and faster bond to develop.
At-Home Care Company is the perfect option for elderly care services that enable you to take the time you need for self-care. As a professional provider of senior care in Urbandale, IA and the surrounding communities, we hire only the very best caregivers to guarantee consistent, exceptional care for the people we serve. Call us today at 515-292-2650 to find out more!