Caring for a loved one is not an easy task. It’s a hard one, as a matter of fact. It is not easy to find a balance between giving care to a loved one and other responsibilities, such as work and personal life. More than 60% of all family caregivers also have a job, which takes as much of their time as caring for their patient.
If you are a caregiver, you should know that taking breaks from your duties is essential if you want to avoid burnout. It is known that overworking yourself while trying to help someone can lead to health complications. So if you find yourself in a situation where you are exhausted and need to take a break from your caregiving duties, here’s what you can do. Of course, all of our suggestions have the well-being of your loved one in mind.
Ask Friends and Family for Help
The first people you can turn to are your friends and family members. They are the most likely to know your patient personally, and most of all, they are people you can trust. Having your friends and family stepping in for you and replacing you as a caregiver has many advantages. Here are just some of them:
- They will gain firsthand experience of what it is to be a caregiver and what you go through every day.
- Your loved one will be in the safe hands of people they already know and probably trust because of you.
- Most importantly, they can handle part-time caregiver duties free of charge as a favor to you. Of course, you can repay them by returning the support or by giving them gifts for helping you.
Friends and family are definitely the best choices when you need someone to fill in for you for only a couple of hours. This way you won’t have to find and pay for professional assistance or call a respite care service.
Look to Elder Companions
If you are considering primary respite care, look to find an elder companion for your loved one. Their duties include meal preparation, light housekeeping, shopping, and running errands along with many other things. But the most important thing is that they provide companionship to your elderly loved one.
An elder companion can even be a volunteer, so you won’t have to spend money, but they also come as professionals. One of the most famous elder companion companies is Meals on Wheels. In addition to their meals, they also have the Friendly Visitor Program, which offers companionship free of charge. You should definitely consider them, even in situations when your loved one only needs assistance with a few simple tasks.
Consider a Personal Care Assistant
Personal assistants provide all the services that elder companions do, but they also offer assistance with grooming. They differ from elder companions, as they also deal with bathing, toilet use, and dressing. Some personal assistant agencies also have personnel who have licenses for the administration of prescribed medications.
In case your loved one doesn’t need medical assistance but has issues with keeping up personal hygiene, hiring a personal care assistant is the right move. They offer their services on a part-time basis, on weekly schedules of only a few hours a day. They can also be hired as live-in personal caregivers.
If your loved one has been your main preoccupation for a while, you need to have a break. Taking care of a dear person can be rewarding, but it also takes a toll on you. So you need to consider asking for help from family, friends, or even finding a suitable form of respite care.
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