So many familial caregivers give sacrificially and willingly, day after day. While respite care is a broader category—available for those caring for children with autism and other disabilities—it’s most common for those caring for an aging or ailing loved one. Often, people care for a parent or grandparent. Respite care is a welcome tool for many engaging in constant care, and it involves a third party caring for your loved one for a few hours or even days. To further determine whether you should utilize it, here are specific benefits of respite care for caregivers.
A Chance to Rest
At a foundational level, respite care offers the gift of rest to those struggling through exhaustion. It allows people who are always on their feet to sit, be still, and recuperate, which is a boon to many caregivers who are seniors themselves. There are many signs you should consider respite care, several of them physical. Often, though, your exhaustion is more mental than physical, and respite care gives a caregiver time alone so they can rest their mind for a little while. Granted, when you first use respite care, you’ll still worry, but that usually eases with time. Overall, though, the chance to spend time away, to take a breath and know they will not need you to help them eat, change, and bathe for a while, is valuable for you and your health.
An Opportunity to Pursue Interests
Another benefit of respite care for caregivers is the chance to channel energy elsewhere. While you love your parent or grandparent, it’s likely you think back to your old career or hobbies and crave a few free hours to spend on them. While respite care may not enable you to return to work, it can provide a breather for those who currently juggle a job and care. Meanwhile, the chance to pursue general interests is profoundly meaningful and makes daily caregiving more manageable.
The Space to Gain Perspective
Our final note—respite care affords caregivers a better perspective on your role. During this time of restfulness, you can think broadly. Whether you need to process unacknowledged anger at your loved one or sadness at their decline in health, utilizing respite care makes it more likely that you’ll engage in these things. In the end, you’ll return refreshed and assured of your purpose in caring for them, as well as rife with a new appreciation for them as a person, no matter how cantankerous they are.