What is respite care? Well, serving as an in-home caregiver for a senior family member, like a parent, is a very positive and rewarding experience. But it can also wear you down, especially when it seems like no matter how hard you try, their condition just keeps getting worse. When your elderly loved one has some cognitive impairment, like dementia, it can make you feel even more hopeless and frustrated. If you’re not careful, caregiver fatigue, or even caregiver burnout, can occur, which will carry over into your personal and professional lives. Even the most dedicated caregivers sometimes need a break, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. How will you know when it’s time to find a “respite” caregiver to step in? Use these red flags to guide your decision.
You Feel Stressed Constantly
Every day you wake up feeling stressed, and there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. Stress causes your body to release chemicals into circulation which, over time, suppress your immune system, interfere with normal sleep patterns, make you irritable, and can even affect your heart.
Feeling harried all the time leads to anxiety, and that can morph into full-blown depression and fatigue if you’re not careful. And, all these factors are a recipe for caregiver burnout if you’re not careful.
Your Job Performance is Suffering
At work, do you feel like a zombie who’s only going through the motions to make it to the end of the day? Has your boss called you into his or her office several times recently to question your motivation and lack of performance?
Caregiving in itself can be a full-time undertaking, and that means juggling your loved one’s care with a job and family can easily wear you down. And, feeling tired, distracted, or anxious while at work means something needs to change.
Your Physical Health is Declining
Is the added load of caregiving taking a toll on your physical health? Here are some warning signs to look for:
- Feeling fatigued all the time
- Rapid weight loss or gain
- Frequent illnesses that you can’t seem to shake off
- Abusing alcohol, prescription pain medications, or even illegal drugs
- Can’t sleep or sleeping too much
If you are currently experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it’s time to take a break.
You’re Neglecting Personal Relationships
Are things a bit strained lately between you and your spouse, or partner? How about with the kids? If you are losing interest in your personal relationships, and not getting together with your friends to socialize like you used to, the strain of caregiving may be getting to you. When your friends and family members start mentioning that you’re “ignoring them”, or that you just “don’t seem like yourself anymore”, it’s time to look in the mirror and consider some respite caregiving assistance.
You’re Feeling Guilty and Resentful
Most caregivers go through periods when they feel guilty or resentful towards the one they’re nurturing, and that’s just human nature. Guilt originates from frustration because no matter how hard you try, you see the health of your loved one deteriorating before your eyes.
Resentment, on the other hand, comes from realizing how much time and effort your caregiving involves, and that you could be spending those countless hours with your kids, spouse, or at work getting that important project done. These are all natural feelings, and nothing to be ashamed of. But when they begin to take over, it can damage your mental health and wellbeing.
Where to Find a Respite Caregiver
When you’ve finally decided to seek some respite caregiving assistance, there are several good sources out there, including:
- Trusted family members and friends
- Reliable neighbors that live near your loved one
- Community senior programs for things like meals, transportation, and companionship
- Adult daycare
- Local volunteers
- A licensed home care agency
Reliable Respite Care is Only a Click Away
No matter how devoted you are to caring for an elderly family member who’s aging in place at home, there will be times you need to take a break for your own health and wellbeing. When that happens, call HomeChoice Home Care and we’ll provide a highly-trained and carefully-screened respite caregiver to step in and nurture your loved one with the compassionate care they deserve.
Our respite caregivers provide services like light housework, personal hygiene, grocery shopping, meal preparation, medication reminders, transportation, and companionship; all delivered in a flexibly tailored package when and where you need them. To learn more about how an in-home senior respite caregiver from HomeChoice Home Care Solutions of Raleigh, NC, can restore your peace of mind, visit: HomeChoiceHomeCare.com.