Caregiving can be a demanding job on every level. While it is extremely rewarding to care for your senior loved one, it can also be quite taxing. In order to care for a loved one full time, you have to physically and emotionally be at the ready at the drop of a hat. This can mean putting your own personal wants and needs aside to make sure your loved one has everything they require. While this might seem like the right thing to do initially, it can actually be extremely draining in the long run.
So what can be done? The good news is that there is a solution: respite care in San Diego.
What is Respite Care?
In short, respite care is where someone other than the primary care provider steps in to give the latter a break for a predetermined amount of time. In other words, think of it like working as a team. No athlete can play every single second of a match or game, which is why their teammates provide support. Respite care and caregiving works much the same way.
Getting respite care can include having a friend or family member help out, or reaching out to a trustworthy volunteer service provider or professional service, such as what we provide here at Cloisters of the Valley.
When Should You Use Respite Care Services?
This is a great question! While you certainly don’t need anyone specific reason to reach out to find respite care in San Diego, the answer remains: any time that you need it. For example, if you need a day to yourself to run errands or go to a personal doctor appointment, ask a friend or family member to sit in for a few hours.
If you are planning a family vacation such as a trip or a cruise and will be gone for a week, look into having someone stay at your home for the duration of the trip. This is also a great time to let your senior have a vacation themselves and visit a senior living community. They can participate in activities, visit with other senior residents, eat amazing food, and above all else, have all of their needs met and taken care of.
Most importantly, you should seek out respite care when you are approaching the point of burnout. If you are feeling frazzled, irritable, and can feel your own personal well-being beginning to take a drastic decline, it might be time to reach out and ask for some help. After all, you deserve to be happy, too!
So what does that sort of help look like? Keep reading for tips on how to get started!
Tips to Seeking Out Services
Tip #1: Talk With Family
It can be difficult to have this conversation with family members, but odds are good that they want to be as supportive as possible. Burn out is very real and can be extremely detrimental to the caregiver’s physical, emotional, and mental well being. Your family wants what is best for you, and if that means stepping in to help, they will want to do it.
The key is honesty and being open about your needs and what is going on. Whether it is once a week or just one day a month, communicate that with your family about what would be the most helpful to you. Work out some sort of plan and coordinate schedules. Planning ahead will help eliminate any potential headaches, such as people forgetting their designated time slot.
Tip #2: Personalize the Plan
Not every senior has the same set of needs. For example, a few things to consider when looking at respite care in San Diego starts with asking some essential questions.
- Does your senior need help with tasks, such as bathing, dressing, and other personal hygiene needs?
- Does your senior have memory care issues? What about mobility issues or other health concerns?
- Would the respite caregiver need to help with anything around the house, such as preparing meals, doing laundry, or making the bed?
- What about any medications? Do they need to be given at certain times?
When working out a care plan, these are just a few of the questions that you will need to make sure you ask yourself and communicate with the person providing the respite care. If someone is helping for just a few hours, many of these may not apply. But if looking at a day or more, this will be a good time to ensure you have checked all the boxes.
Tip #3: Remember That Your Needs Are Justified
This can be tough for many folks to remember. It is only natural to want to take on things ourselves and remain strong. Some people even worry that by asking for help, they are somehow ‘abandoning’ their loved one. This could not be farther from the truth!
The old adage is true: it is impossible to pour from an empty cup. If you need a break, it is important to take one! Don’t let guilt get the best of you or lie to you. You deserve to have a chance to breathe, rest, and take some time off.
Tip #4: Talk to a Professional
If you don’t have immediate friends or family who can help on a regular basis, or you are in need of a more skilled or professional level of support, seek out services such as what we offer here at Cloisters. Going this route can provide you with an extra layer of peace of mind, especially if you are going to be traveling or away for vacation.
This is also the most ideal option if you have a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, as this can require a special element of care and security. If you aren’t sure if this something you can afford, make sure to reach out to us to start the conversation! Respite care in San Diego could be more of a viable option than you might expect.