What Can You Do if You’re Struggling with Taking Breaks as a Caregiver?

You probably already know that you need to take breaks more regularly as a caregiver, but if your response is to make excuses, you’re struggling with the idea.


Elder Care in Guelph: Caregiver Breaks

Elder Care in Guelph: Caregiver Breaks



Don’t Ask for Permission

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make as a caregiver is to feel as if you need to ask permission from your elderly family member in order to take a break. Of course, your senior’s response is going to be a big, resounding “no.” Your senior wants to continue to feel comfortable and know she’s cared for. She can still have that when you take a break, but fear of the unknown will keep her from feeling comfortable giving you permission. You don’t need permission from anyone but yourself to take a break, so give that to yourself.

There Will Be Guilt at First

You’re going to feel guilty at first for taking a break. Acknowledging that guilt is the fastest way to get rid of it, so do it. You’re feeling guilty because you’re not there, but ask yourself how you would feel if you collapsed from mental and physical exhaustion and then could not be a caregiver at all. That would feel a whole lot worse, probably.

Line up Help Beforehand

The best way to ensure that your elderly family member is in good hands when you’re taking a break is to line up some help before you actually take the break. Hiring home care providers ensures that your senior is with someone who has experience in meeting her needs. If possible, introduce your elderly family member to her new senior care provider in advance and give them a chance to get to know each other. This can make the transition easier when you actually take some time away.

Do it Anyway

You’re probably scared and nervous and ready to back out of whatever type of break you’ve scheduled. Do it anyway. Even if you’re only going down the street to grab a cup of coffee for yourself, you need to do it anyway. Most of what we do in life becomes easier with a little bit of practice and taking a break as a caregiver definitely requires you to practice.

If you’re still having trouble with the concept of taking breaks from caregiving, start out slowly. An hour or two here and there will still be helpful to you. Gradually increase your breaks until you’re getting what you truly need. If you don’t, you’re going to find yourself feeling more and more overwhelmed.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Guelph, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at (905)-709-1767.

About Susan Di Michele

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