Family caregivers across the country spend around 34 billion hours a year giving unpaid care to their loved ones. While this is a huge blessing to be able to do, it’s also a massive sacrifice.
With any sacrifice, no matter how noble the cause, it can wear on you and break you down if you don’t take care of yourself at the same time.
This is where respite care comes in to help those family caregivers get a break, whether that be for an afternoon running errands, going on a date night, or a weeklong vacation. Respite care helps you feel comfortable and confident taking those needed rests.
Read on to learn the signs that it’s time to look into respite care for your loved one.
1. Feel Overwhelmed Often
Everyone has stresses and situations that can add stress to their lives. That’s a normal part of the human experience. But when it’s a regular occurrence to feel overwhelmed, it’s probably time to make some changes.
Feeling overwhelmed happens when there are too many things you need and want to do and you just don’t think you can do them all.
When that type of anxiety lasts for an extended period of time, it can lead to real health problems. Respite care can give you the time you need to get things under control so you can keep going.
2. Become Sick or Injured
For obvious reasons, those who are sick or injured can’t really give the best care to their aging loved ones. It’s just physically not possible.
If you don’t feel like you need respite care on a regular basis, it’s still a good idea to do some research on options in case a situation like this comes up. When you’re physically incapable of doing the work, you need help quick.
A great benefit of respite care is that it can be as often as you want or as little as you want. It’s all based on what you need.
3. Relationship Declining
A really sad truth about caring for an aging loved one is that it can often lead to worsened relationships.
There is so much stress from both parties. One overwhelmed by all the time and work they have to sacrifice. The other feeling like a burden for needing help. Those feelings can be displayed in unhelpful ways that can hurt feelings and ties.
If you find the right facility everyone approves of, it can be a great benefit for your relationship. Absence can make the heart grow fonder in these situations!
4. Signs of Depression
Being the caregiver can take a toll on your emotional and mental health. There is so much that needs to be done, it’s hard to remember to take care of yourself at the same time.
If you start to feel and see the signs of depression, it’s time to take immediate action and search for “respite care near me”.
Those types of mental illnesses should be taken seriously. Small breaks will allow you to learn better coping mechanisms, whether that be through physical movement, therapy, or another healthy outlet.
The point is that you get the help you need so you’re well enough to give more help.
5. Need More Social Interaction
In a lot of ways, being a caregiver for an aging loved one is like having small kids at home again. It places a lot of the same restrictions on your time and abilities.
This can make for a lot of great, meaningful moments that should be treasured. But it also makes for a lot of lonely times when you can feel very isolated and cut off from the regular world.
These feelings of loneliness can also be experienced by your loved one. So setting up regular respite care can help everyone to have a wider social circle, battling the loneliness.
6. Making More Mistakes
Depending on the state of your loved one, as the caregiver, you may have some really technical responsibilities. From managing diets to administering medications, it’s important that all of that be done perfectly.
If the day to day is becoming too much and you find yourself making mistakes in these areas of care, it’s time to get more help.
A break can give you the rest you need to be able to focus in and do things right.
7. More Hard Days
Some days are just hard. You fight with your family. You just feel grumpy. You have no patience and feel like snapping at everything that bugs you.
That’s normal until there are more of those days than not.
If your loved one is aging, that means you have a limited number of days with them. You don’t want those days to be hard days because you’re burnt out. You want them to be days you can look back on fondly and treasure.
When you feel this shift in happy vs. bad days, respite care may help you restore the balance.
8. Just Want a Break
In the end, you don’t need a specific reason to set up some respite care for your loved one. You do enough good and help with so many things, you deserve a break.
The beauty of respite care is that it can be just that; a short break to fill your cup and allow you to be the best caregiver you can be. It really will make a difference in your overall health, attitude, and relationships.
Start Looking at Respite Care for Loved Ones
Though it’s hard to admit, especially for someone whose been giving a lot of care, we all need help sometimes. Family caregivers are certainly no exception.
Respite care gives you options and opportunities to take time for yourself to just relax or get some other things done. But it will also benefit your loved one as well, giving them an opportunity for a change of scenery and company.
If you’re interested in learning more about the possibilities within respite care, contact us today.