As a caregiver of an aging loved one, you give a lot of your time, energy, and care to someone really important to you. You might feel like you can never get away because you’re not sure who will care for your loved one while you’re away.
But as a caregiver, finding respite is important so that you don’t burn out, lose connection with the other important people in your life, and also, be able to provide the best care you can, lovingly and joyfully. Respite can occur in just a few hours at a favorite night out, an overnight at a local resort, or a trip away. Discuss it with your family and determine what’s best for you. A good place to start is often a weekend. It gives enough time for you to unwind and destress but isn’t such a long period that you need to do a lot of extra scheduling for someone else to care for your loved one.
Friends, families, and neighbors are always great resources to help with caring for your loved one while you’re away but there may be tasks they are uncomfortable with or unable to help with. A good option is to hire someone who can provide 24-hour home care at the hours that you need someone to be with your loved one.
A 24-hour home care provider isn’t in the home for 24 hours, but can be scheduled for any time during the day or night. They can help with bedtime routines, morning routines, or after-hours appointments. They can also help with those middle-of-the-day appointments when all of your family and friends have to work or are busy with their commitments.
Letting your loved one know that you’ll have someone come over (or multiple people come over) while you’re away will help her be more comfortable and feel more secure as well. It’s a good idea to introduce her to the person if possible before you leave so that they can get to know one another before you are no longer in the area.
Let your 24-hour home care provider know about what a typical weekend looks like for your loved one and any specific appointments she needs to attend. After sharing her schedule, you can determine when would be the best times for your 24-hour home care provider to stop by for a visit to assist your loved one. Here are a few things your 24-hour home care provider can help with at specific times of the day.
- Morning routines of styling hair, brushing teeth, and getting dressed.
- Prepping meals for the day for your loved one to heat up and enjoy, or simply pull out of the fridge.
- Accompanying your loved one on a morning stroll for some exercise.
- Running errands
- Walking the dog
- Household chores
- Getting ready for bed, including bathtime.
- Taking out the garbage, cleaning up for the day
- Companionship like a game of checkers or cards
Planning ahead can help make sure you enjoy your respite weekend and that your loved one feels safe and secure while you’re away.