Caring for an elderly family member is a huge responsibility that very few people really want to take on. It’s commendable for several reasons, especially when you consider how much caregivers actually have to give up in order to dedicate themselves to their families.
When you accept the task of looking after a family member who is no longer able to take care of themselves, the main thing to remember is that you have no idea just how long your commitment will be. It could be months, or even years, either way, because it is a huge responsibility, you’ll probably be mentally exhausted and close to burnout within a few weeks of beginning your role a primary caregiver.
The role of the primary caregiver is truly an all-consuming one that will quickly take over your life. There’s no way to avoid this and despite all of your best efforts, it is unavoidable. The problem is that you’ll find it difficult to switch off and this is where it becomes essential to find rest periods, whether that means getting away for a few days or taking a break within your own home. Either way, just like an ordinary full-time job, you’ll need to recharge your batteries because they will get very low very quickly.
However, before you can think about when you’ll take a break, you first have to make arrangements to have your elderly loved one taken care of in your absence. There are a few options when it comes to this element of your own personal care.
1. The first is Respite Placement in a nursing home or assisted living home:
Now many nursing homes actually reserve rooms solely for respite cases in order for families to have a rest from the constant demands that are placed on them. You can view the home in question before booking a place, and all of the homes with this specific facility will be listed at your local authority offices or you can find them online through a simple Google Search for nursing homes or assisted living homes in your area.
2. A second option would be to get home help or home care for the time that you’re going to be away or taking a break:
This means that someone can come into the home while you’re away to help your loved one with different tasks such as with help to wash up, get dressed, eat, run errands, get to doctor or hospital visits and much more. However, depending on the options available to you and your budget, you may not be able to have someone stay with your loved one around the clock. Now there’s another version of this which is home care, which means that your elder will have someone there for a longer period of time but again it may not be 24/7. If you spend a lot of time with your elderly loved one then this may not be the best option, however, it all depends on how able-bodied your loved one is to begin with.
3. The final option is getting another member of your family to help out for a few days or hours, to relieve you of your duties for the time being:
It may be easier to hand over the reigns to someone in your family because they’re probably already up to speed with the developments and routines of your elder. It would also be a lot easier to reach them at a moment’s notice in case of emergencies or just for a check-in to see how things are going. One thing to remember though is that this is all dependent on getting a volunteer to do the job, let alone one that you can trust with such a huge task.
Of course, you can combine two or more of these options so that you have the best mix of care available for your elderly loved one. This gives you the opportunity to find care that fits into your budget, as well as care that gives you peace of mind.
The choice is yours, but for your own health it’s important to remember that taking a break as often as you possibly can will help you remain healthy & happy so that you can provide the best care possible for your family.
At Your Home Team Care we provide Respite Care Services for aging adults, our staff if fully trained and ready to help you and your elderly loved one at home. Give us a call today at (865) 332 – 5000 to get more details about our services and how we can help you and your family.