Taking respite time is something that can sound incredibly scary for caregivers, especially if they haven’t done that before. You can ease yourself into the idea with some of these tips.
Don’t Rush Yourself
When you’re applying deadlines and timelines to things like taking time away to relax, that’s surprisingly unrelaxing. Don’t rush yourself on this. It’s a process and there’s a lot that you may find yourself needing to get used to. Give yourself all the time that you need to become okay with the idea that you’re going to take time away and that someone else is going to be with your elderly family member in your stead.
Put Helpful Information Together
Something that can really help is to put together comprehensive information for elderly care providers. There’s a lot of knowledge you’ve amassed about your senior’s care, about her needs, and about her preferences. While you’re becoming more comfortable with the idea of taking time away, make sure that you’ve got information packets and cheat sheets set up that could help anyone walk in and start taking care of your senior. You’ll feel more prepared when you do set up respite time.
Use Your Time for You
There are sometimes misunderstandings about the purpose of respite time. Sure, you can use respite time for appointments or things you have to do, but for the most part, it’s right there in the name. Respite means a period of rest or time away. This really needs to be some time that you take just for you that allows you to rest and to recharge so that you can go back to being a caregiver. Use your time for yourself in as many ways as you can.
Let Yourself Enjoy the Full Time You Have Allotted
Very often family caregivers find themselves away from their senior and yet feeling pulled to race back to take over again. Unless you’ve been contacted with information that an emergency has taken place, let yourself enjoy the time that you’ve already scheduled. Don’t race back to your regular duties when you don’t have to do so just yet.
Don’t beat yourself up for taking respite time, even if it’s taken you a long time to give in and actually do it. This is about giving yourself what you need so that you can keep being the caregiver that you want to be. Allow yourself to have time away.