If your older loved one requires daily assistance with everyday tasks, stepping into the role of their caregiver becomes a full-time commitment, especially if they are living with a chronic illness or cognitive impairments, such as Alzheimer’s, any form of dementia or Parkinson’s. When caring for a loved one becomes your top priority, everything else – catching up with friends, doing what brings you joy, caring for your own health – is often pushed to the wayside. What many family caregivers don’t realize is that it is possible to take care of your loved one and still enjoy a fulfilling, healthy lifestyle of your own.
There’s no denying that full-time caregiving is a stressful job. Considering the documented physical and emotional health issues that occur within the caregiving population, frequent accounts of sleep deprivation, fatigue, high blood pressure, isolation and depression are just some of the reasons why caregivers should be taking intentional measures to utilize resources, such as respite care, in order to care for their own well-being.
Some family caregivers have a hard time handing off their duties to others, even temporarily. Their personal responsibility for their loved one’s well-being could become so deeply rooted that they’ll sacrifice their own pleasure and health in order to continue providing care. While these efforts are noble, they aren’t worth the risk of overwhelming stress and its consequences. A caregiver can’t provide for their loved one if they themselves are running on empty.
For those who are hesitant to let go of their caregiving duties, they should learn to look at respite care, either from a family member, neighbor or professional service, as an invaluable tool for best caring for their loved one. With this perspective, caregivers can look beyond the guilt or fear of accepting help and recognize the many benefits to enjoying a bit of respite.
Seeking out respite care for your loved one is appropriate for a number of situations. Whether you take a long-overdue vacation, need time to rest and recover from an illness, spend the afternoon catching up with a friend or just enjoy a little “me-time,” the benefits you gain from these activities can help you keep your body and spirit strong. The article, “Respite Care for the Elderly Is Important for Family Caregivers,” describes several benefits of having some time away from caregiving:
In addition to the benefits that the caregiver receives from utilizing respite care, their loved one benefits from a change of pace, new surroundings and activities to do and, if they’re enjoying respite care at a senior living community, socializing with their peers and making new acquaintances, they may even discover that a community lifestyle is one they’d like to consider in the future.
When guests enjoy a respite stay at Tuscan Gardens, they can expect to experience all the resort-style services, amenities and surroundings that our long-term residents enjoy. From signature dining experiences in our Tuscan Kitchen to a variety of leisure, cultural and educational activities, those here for a respite stay have options and opportunities to take in the day however they please. And, their families enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing their loved one is in the hands or our compassionate and talented professional staff of caregivers.