When you are providing constant senior home care for an elderly loved one, taking a vacation is more than a nice break. Caregiver burnout is a very real problem, particularly among those who have been providing elderly care for months or even years.
Some occasional “me time” is needed for caregivers to maintain their own emotional and physical well-being, and ensure they remain capable of providing quality care.
However, who cares for your loved one while you are on vacation? Your family needs you, too, and summer vacation is one way that families connect, away from the normal day to day stresses. Summer vacations are possible for caregivers, but careful planning is required so that your loved one will continue to receive the care needed, and so that you can enjoy your time away without worry.
The first step is helping loved ones know that they will still receive the best senior home care while you are gone. Give as much notice as you can so that they have time to mentally and emotionally prepare. They may have special requests or ideas about things that they would like to do. If they are physically able, they may be able to visit other family members while you are away or other family members may come to visit them.
Family and friends are the greatest resources for senior home care when preparing for a vacation. If you have been the primary caregiver, family and friends will likely be willing to help out, even if the care needs to be divided up among several families.
Ask senior loved ones “Who among your friends and family would you like to spend more time with for a few days?” Besides helping them feel like their input is being heard, this can also aid you in convincing the person in question to help. “But s/he wants to see more of you!” is a very strong argument.
When you have difficulty finding a single person willing to take over care, look to break up the work and delegate jobs. Spreading tasks among several friends or family members will reduce the burden/responsibility on any one person, and an excuse for a visit may even be welcome.
Some of the responsibilities that family and friends can help with are:
If one person can stay with loved ones at night, others, even neighbors, can visit during the day or drive loved ones wherever they may need/want to go.
Another option is hiring senior home care professionals to take care of your loved ones short-term. For many, this can be a “best of both worlds” option, allowing seniors to remain at home in their comfortable surroundings, while receiving regular visits – or even 24-hour supervision – from trained home care professionals. From daily chores to driving your loved one on errands, they can handle everything. Respite care is also a great option for scheduling regular time to take care of your own needs and interests.
Neighborly Home Care’s providers are all well trained and caring professionals. To learn more about respite home care options or other services, contact Neighborly Home Care for more information.