Tuesday Tips for Caregivers ~ Caregiving and the Need for Breaks
Caregiving is a full time job, and it can drain you of all of your energy. As difficult as it may seem, it is necessary to take breaks lest you burn out. It may feel counter intuitive to walk away temporarily from some of your pressing chores, but, in the end, it will help you become more productive and a more attentive caregiver since taking breaks helps you regain energy. It is easier said than done, but we hope to provide you with some tips on how to take breaks and find support if necessary.
Consider these options:
Respite care comes from a professional caregiver that steps in to relieve some of your duties. The purpose of respite care is to give you a much-needed break. The only drawback to this option is that it costs money, and maybe not every family can afford it. To find out costs, call your local elder care agency or nurse registry to learn more. If this is not an option, then you could recruit the help of family members and friends and coordinate times that work best. Lastly, there are also volunteer groups that can offer some respite services. To put it simply, it all comes down to the kind of care your loved one needs. The more specialized care, the more likely you may have to spend some money. Perhaps you can combine paid services with family help to reduce costs. Nevertheless, these are some options to help give you a break several hours during the week.
Going outside for exercise or leisurely walks can be a huge benefit. If you can get away for just an hour or so, you can use this time to practice some meditation and breathing exercises. These techniques along with being outside will help lower your stress levels, especially if you use this time to exercise. If the weather is bad and going out is not an option, you can always meditate and practice breathing in a private room for a certain amount of time.
One of the more unfortunate aspects of caregiving is that it can draw you away from friends and family, since it is such a demanding role. One of the ways you can take a break is to reconnect with close ones, like friends. The good part about this is that you can stay close by if necessary—video and phone technology can make socializing a lot easier if you are unable to go out. If you can get out of the house for a little bit, then try meeting a friend at a coffee shop to catch up, or ask them to go for a walk. If your friends do not mind and if you want, this can also be a great time to talk about what has been stressing you out. Sometimes, just decompressing and opening up about your feelings can be a great way to relieve stress and find more energy and meaning to continue your hard work.
If you have any questions, please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.