Being the primary caregiver for an aging or ailing parent is a stressful, time-consuming, and sometimes thankless job. You stepped up to the plate for your parent because you love them, support them, and want their quality of life to be as high as possible in their last years. As amazing as it is for you take on this responsibility, you may sometimes feel overwhelmed and in need of a break for a day or two. How do you involve someone else in your parent’s care so you can take a much-needed break?
The following are five ideas you can use to take some time for yourself!
- Call an in-home nursing service for the time period you need. If going outside the family for temporary care is a feasible financial option for you, this may be the easiest way to get it done. You and your parent would have access to a trained professional in the nursing or caregiving field who is familiar with medications, dosages, bathing, recreational activities, etc. for older people. They can also provide socialization outside your immediate family.
- Enroll your parent in an adult day program. This can be a great option for your senior parent as it gets them out of the house, increases their socialization with others, and provides new activities for them. It also gives you a chance to take care of other matters during the day or simply allows you to relax and recuperate for a bit. It is very important to care for yourself while also making sure that your parent is getting excellent help, care, and stimulation outside of yourself.
- Ask family members for help when you need a break. This can be the most complicated avenue to take for many caregivers. Your siblings or other family members may not be located in your immediate area, relationships may be strained, or other family members are simply too busy. When you approach family members for help, be careful not to place any blame or resentment on them. Make it more about how much you need a break and would appreciate their help. If you don’t necessarily think that they will willingly volunteer, it can be helpful to talk about how much you trust them with your parent’s care and that you and your parent would be more comfortable if they took over briefly for you.
- Locate a senior companion program near you. This is another great option to get your parent care when you need a bit of a break. Most programs are done on a volunteer basis in which the volunteer aged 55 or older provide assistance in daily tasks as well as companionship and friendship. All volunteers are required to pass an extensive background check in order to participate. You can create a regular schedule with them or use their services as you need. Want to find one in your area? Click Here to do so!
- Find a respite care service in your area. Respite care is another voluntary service which can provide excellent short-term care for your senior. Care can happen at home or in a nursing facility, depending on the program and your needs. Volunteers are carefully vetted to make sure they provide excellent care and do not have criminal records. If you need several days away from home or help with overnight care, this may be a better option than a senior companion program. The ARCH National Respite Network can help you find a Respite Program in your area to get the break you need. Click Here to find a program near you.
You are doing an incredible thing for your parent by being their primary caregiver. It may be stressful and thankless at times, but you have stepped up to try to make your parent’s life the best it can be. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you are not selfish for needing or wanting a break. Caregiving can take a heavy toll on your health, and it is important to prioritize yourself as well. Utilizing the many resources available for your parent can make your life easier as well. Take care of yourself and you will be better able to take care of your loved one.