If respite feels like too much work, you might be doing it wrong. There are some steps you can take that allow you to reframe how you look at respite and how the experience ends up. It’s worth taking a deeper look.
Who Is Your Backup?
If you’re at the point where you have been putting off taking respite time, there is a solid chance that means your senior needs a lot of your time, help, and attention. Very often caregivers look at what it takes to prepare for time away and just keep on going because it seems like too much work. What you really need is a solid backup person to step in for you. This is where home care providers really shine. Home care providers can help you and your senior and make your time away seamless for both you and the people you love.
Put Respite on Your Calendar
Once you’re committed to taking time away, put it on your calendar. Make it an actual appointment and give yourself rules around that appointment. One might be that you can reschedule for sometime during that same week, but you can’t cancel. This is going to help you to stick with this plan. When respite is on your calendar, this also gives you time to prepare and to make sure you’ve got everything in place so you can relax.
Feelings Are Going to Show Up
Prepare yourself now for the fact that you’re going to have some feelings pop up about taking respite time. You might feel an entire range from guilty to sad to elated. All of these are valid feelings and aren’t something you need to feel bad about. You do need to acknowledge those feelings, though, so that you can properly deal with them. Journaling can help because you can start to see why you’re resisting taking time away and what might be behind those feelings.
Stick to It
Respite is a commitment for you as a caregiver. This is something that will benefit you if you give it time and if you’re patient with yourself and the process. When you first started out as a caregiver you fumbled occasionally and when you’re new to taking respite time, you’ll have that same awkward stage. But if you stick with it, you’re going to see some really amazing results for everyone involved.
Adjust your process around respite as you need to. There’s no one-size-fits-all template that will help you to map it all out. Go with what works for you and for your situation.