Being a family caregiver is often referred to as a labor of love. Perhaps it’s this descriptive idea that makes you feel guilty when you desire some “me time.” The reality is however, that caring for a family member can be stressful and physically exhausting. And at Home Care Assistance, we stress the idea that there’s no shame in acknowledging that you need some time for yourself.
It’s important that you take care of yourself so that you can continue providing quality care for your aging parent, grandparent or loved one. Keep in mind that your feelings and emotions affect the care that you provide. For example, when you become stressed, your loved one can sense your stress and when you’re tired, you are likely to get frustrated with your responsibilities more quickly. By taking a break, you are doing yourself and the one you are caring for a favor.
Taking care of yourself means doesn’t mean you have to go on an extended vacation or walk away from your duties for days at a time. Setting aside time to eat a meal without interruption, making time for a bit of meditation or a physically beneficial walk and designating a period of solitary time to read, watch television or catch up on some much needed sleep are simple ways to take time for yourself each day.
If guilt weighs heavy on you whenever you contemplate seeking some personal time, begin by designating a small amount of time for yourself. If your loved one takes a nap, make yourself use that time as “me time” rather than filling it doing tasks related to your caregiving responsibilities. This may require some self-discipline on your part, but can go a long way in leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to return to your duties.
Respite care can also be provided for short or for extended periods of time. Starting with a few hours away from your house can help you ease into the acceptance phase. You might discover that your loved one is happy to have a different person doting on them and this can help them form a new meaningful relationship with another person. For information about highly trained and professional and respite caregivers in Denton and Collin counties, click here.
The desire for some personal time is not a sign of unconcern for your loved one. Instead, it is a way to get the rest and renewal you need to continue as a compassionate, loving caregiver. For more information about care services nearest you, contact Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in home care, by calling 972-468-6010. Our devoted Care Manager can offer caregiver advice and can help you create a respite schedule that meets your needs as well as the individual needs of your aging loved one.