If you’re not getting what you need out of the respite time that you’re taking or you’re not even taking time for yourself, you need to understand why those mistakes are happening. This list can help you to start using respite time in a way that works for you instead of against you.
You Think You Can Only Do Certain Things
You might have a deeply ingrained belief that respite only covers time for you to do certain things. Usually those things have to be justifications for you not being where you’re “supposed” to be, namely with your senior family member. Those things you might think qualify for respite time could be really strict, like only for a doctor’s appointment or for jury duty. But that’s not the case. You can use respite time to do absolutely nothing. In fact, you probably should.
You Think There’s a Strict Time Limit
Speaking of strict, you might also believe that respite time is only something you can take in specific chunks of time. For instance, you might feel strongly that you can only be gone for an hour, no matter what. That means that taking an afternoon to watch a movie with a friend would be totally off limits, for no good reason. Respite time is yours and it takes as long as it takes. Leaving your senior in a safe position with someone caring for her while you’re gone is the responsible thing to do, but there’s no time frame on that other than the one you impose.
You Think Respite Is for Other Caregivers
Lots of caregivers, especially newer caregivers, believe that respite time is for other caregivers. Caregivers who are busier or who meet some other arbitrary qualification. The truth is that respite time is a necessity for all caregivers. You don’t have to meet certain criteria in order to take care of yourself with time away. It’s crucial that you start doing so.
You Think You’re on Call for Everything
When you do take respite time, are you considering yourself “on call” for even the smallest details? Or maybe you’re checking in every few minutes by phone with the home care providers to make sure that everything is okay. That’s not the best use of respite time for you. If you’re spending your time caregiving from wherever you are, you’re not taking that time just to recharge and refresh yourself.
Understanding that respite is different from what you expect could be the key to helping you to enjoy taking that time for yourself.
If you are considering home care in Huntersville, NC for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Charlotte. Call today: (704) 246-5806.