What does an average day look like for you as a family caregiver? For many, it begins before dawn, helping a senior member of the family who has trouble sleeping throughout the night and is in need of assistance, or at least a person to talk to. After that, the day could be a flurry of activities: helping with personal care, preparing meals, running errands, providing transportation to exercise classes, medical appointments, or any other excursions – the list of senior care assistance tasks continues.
What a normal day might not include, however, is time to yourself, to engage in hobbies you enjoy or catching up with a friend over a leisurely lunch. Even entertaining such ideas might make you feel guilty. Nevertheless, taking care of yourself is vital to your overall health as a caregiver. To take it a step further, the senior you are caring for also needs you to care for yourself. Doing so helps you be more patient, relaxed, and effective in providing care.
How Do I Possibly Take Time Away?
It’s true: your caregiving responsibilities are very important. Someone you love is relying on you, and stepping away to care for yourself is not easy! To further complicate matters, the person in your care may resist the notion of having somebody else temporarily fill your role. These tips can help you take necessary time away from caregiving while ensuring the senior you love will not only accept these breaks, but genuinely enjoy being with a caregiver providing respite care.
- Choose your words carefully. The way in which you present the idea of bringing in a caregiver can make all the difference in the senior’s level of comfort. For instance, most of us wouldn’t normally take too kindly to the idea of a stranger showing up to bathe us! But wouldn’t it be lovely to have someone available to help with housework, laundry, and preparing delicious meals? You can focus on these basic types of senior care assistance services and work your way up to a higher degree of care as required or as the senior and caregiver get to know each other.
- Use a friendly but firm approach. As opposed to asking for the senior’s approval to take some time away, make clear that you’ll be bringing in a trusted, friendly caregiver to help around the house. Begin by inviting the caregiver to come over while you’re there initially, if this eases the transition for the elderly individual and/or for you. This allows the caregiver and senior to get to know each other, as well as the chance for the caregiver to make note of any particular information or routines that are important to the senior.
- Check in while away. When you feel comfortable with the caregiver and are prepared to go out for a break, feel free to call to see how things are going. Or, you can ask the caregiver to take down notes on how the day went and any problems that might have occurred. As you and the senior gain confidence in the caregiver, you can leave for longer periods of time and on a more routine basis.
- Make certain you choose the best caregiver. It is imperative to select an expert caregiver from an established 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 based on compatibility, personality type, interests, and more, to enable a stronger and faster bond to develop.
Absolute Companion Care is the perfect option for senior care assistance that allows you to take the time needed for self-care. As a top-rated provider of home health care in Towson and the surrounding areas, we hire only the very best caregivers to ensure the highest quality care for the people we serve. Contact us today at 410-357-9640 to find out more!