An Outside the Box Look at Respite Care…

I’ll admit it. In working with caregivers for 15 years and even being a paid caregiver that provided respite care as a college student, I am quick to say I hope that every family caregiver will take advantage of respite care.

But I have also seen the faces of many when this topic comes up. Sometimes your eyes cloud over with frustration or sadness. Because it isn’t that simple.

So let’s take an outside the box look at what respite means.

RESPITE, according to Merriam Webster, means “an interval of rest or relief This is exactly my wish for you. RestRelief… This gives your body, mind, and soul the break it needs to refresh and continue.

We know that the classic forms of respite care include, hiring a homecare agency, using adult day services, and using temporary care provided in a facility.

These may be exactly what you need. Or these may be what you need and more. Or these may not be possible but you need something.

What else will give you Rest and Relief as a caregiver?

Rest and Relief…can be physical, emotional, social, or all 3.

Respite that provides Rest and Relief also looks like:
1)Doing something that distracts you from the providing care: Off the top of your head, what is something you do, don’t do, or have done in the past that lifts your burden to bring a sense of Rest and Relief? Are you doing this regularly?

2)The one you are caring for doing something that they enjoy, while you give yourself permission not to meet any needs right then

3)A friend or family member occupying them either virtually or in person, while you give yourself permission not to meet any needs right then

4)The one you are providing care for sleeping either at night or napping during the day and taking that time for rest and relief yourself

5)Taking respite from expectations that ask of you more than they should. (i.e. “I have to cook every night.” “I am responsible for their happiness.” “I have to get it all done today.”

Respite is not simple, but it is possible no matter your situation. How will you take time for respite?

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