Many caregivers are proud of the fact that they’re helping their loved one and doing what they can to keep that person home with the family. But no one claims that caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease is easy. Taking on this heroic task is without a doubt exhausting: mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially. Most caregivers report feeling high levels of emotional stress, and many are just simply worn out physically.
For this reason, all caregivers should consider the option of respite care. Respite care is offered at assisted living and similar facilities. A loved one can check into the facility temporarily and there get the expert care they need, allowing caregivers some time to recharge. This can be for as long as a week or two, or as short as an afternoon, giving you the chance to get some important errands done.
Rather than frantically doing a search for a respite care facility when you’re at the end of your rope and in a panic, it’s best to start your research before you think you need it, while caregiving still seems manageable. Talk to senior homes and adult daycare programs in your area to learn about the different options available.
Respite care might be a good change not just for you, but for your loved one as well. They may enjoy the chance to interact with the other seniors that they meet in their temporary home. Many facilities will hold entertaining events, or run fun activities that are specially designed for their particular ability level.
Some Alzheimer’s patients may have some trouble with being in a new environment. However, they do have the capability to get used to being in a new place if you make taking a break a regular routine.
How do you know when making use of respite care might be a good idea? Pay attention to your emotions and your body to recognize burnout. These include having trouble sleeping, exhaustion, anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, and anger. Your body will often warn you when you’re getting in over your head, so be mindful of any health problems that crop up.
Respite care is not a cop-out, and you are not abandoning your loved one. Rather, you are taking a break to prevent your own burnout. By taking advantage of the respite care option, you are strengthening your ability to provide the best possible care for your loved one. Consider that if you ignore your stress, you may create bigger problems down the line that will result in you giving up caregiving permanently. You can always run much further if you start and stop, rather than push through past the point of exhaustion.
Contact us for more information about the respite care options at Raya’s Paradise.