The responsibility of caring for a parent often falls to the person in need’s adult child. While many children are more than willing to help out and step in as caregivers to their parents, they frequently do not realize the gigantic commitment it takes to be someone’s full-time caregiver. Their great intentions can result in them feeling overwhelmed and experiencing something called ‘caregiver burnout.’
To help prevent caregiver burnout, it is essential that healthy habits are established ideally as early on as possible. Time away from caregiving to indulge in a little self-care is imperative for a caregiver. While friends and family may be willing to help out on occasion, another more reliable option is respite care. Respite care is a temporary care service offered by senior living communities. Seniors can stay in a community for a length of stay that varies anywhere from a few hours per day to overnight for a few weeks.
While the benefits of respite care for seniors are well-documented, consider the following six benefits for the caregiver.
1. Renewal – Taking time to relax, pursue a passion, or enjoy a favorite activity can give a person a rejuvenated sense of well-being, and ready to face upcoming challenges. Making time for self-care can help a person feel more balanced mentally, physically, and emotionally.
2. Energy – Because a family caregiver often has other responsibilities, like taking care of children and a full-time job outside of caregiving (which is also 24/7 for many people), they end up feeling drained. Time away from responsibilities can restore energy levels and replenish vitality.
3. Space – Like any relationship, it is healthy to have space away from each other occasionally. Time apart can help provide clarity and perspective to a situation and help the caregiver make smart decisions for themselves and their family member when they return.
4. Pleasure – Becoming a caregiver does not mean a person no longer has likes, dislikes, hobbies, or passions outside of their responsibilities. Having time to pursue these interests may seem like a luxury and something that’s often put on a back burner, but it should not be. It is imperative that a caregiver has time to do precisely what they enjoy whether that means reading a book, going on vacation, or attending an exercise class.
5. Identity – Many times caregivers lose themselves in their job – and cease to identify as anything outside of being a caregiver. Losing their status can leave a person devastated and lost when their caregiving journey comes to an end. To prevent this devastation, it is essential that family caregivers should maintain a sense of self through outside activities during their caregiving journey.
6. Engagement – Just like it is crucial for seniors to enjoy time with friends and participate in social activities to prevent isolation, it is equally important for their caregiver. It is vital for caregivers to fight the loneliness that often accompanies caregiving and spend time with friends and family.
Franklin Park® Senior Living wants to support family caregivers during their caregiving journey and work together to prevent caregiver burnouts. We would love to meet you and learn how we can serve your family. Find a Franklin Park® Senior Living community near you!