If you’re caring for a senior loved one, especially if your aging loved one has a chronic illness, respite care from a home caregiver is something that is absolutely necessary for your own wellbeing. It’s very common for an adult child taking care of a parent to throw themselves into a caregiver role and ignore their own needs. But if you do that you will quickly burn out and then you will be unable to take care of your parent. Respite care is necessary care. Caregivers need respite care because:
Your Needs Matter Too
Caregivers have a tendency to push aside their own needs to focus on the person that they’re taking of. Sometimes it is necessary to do, like if your aging parent falls and you have to deal with them being hospitalized and having to go to a rehab facility. But you can’t live long term ignoring all of your own needs. You need sleep, you need to eat decent meals, and you need to look after your own life. You may need to check in with work or check in on your kids and spouse. You are not abandoning your sick parent if you take time off from parental care to deal with other aspects of your life or give yourself a break. A caregiver will make sure that your parent is being looked after so that you can get away to do the things you need to do.
Compassion Fatigue Is Real
If you spend a lot of time taking care of someone that has a lot of physical or mental challenges you can experience compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue happens when you are so overwhelmed by the demands of the person that you’re taking care of that you don’t have any empathy or compassion left for them. For example, if you are caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s who wanders and is angry with you and needs your help for things showering and toileting you find that they have a medical need that means a trip to the doctor and instead of feeling concerned for them you’re just irritated that you must go right back to the doctor. Compassion fatigue doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person or that you don’t care about your parent. It just means that you’re overwhelmed and that you need a break.
It’s Hard Emotionally To Take Care Of A Parent
There is no way to prepare for the emotional toll of taking care of an aging parent especially if that parent has Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s and needs a lot of extra care and attention. Seeing your parent in a weakened state where they are not the person you remember them being is tough for children at any age. You always want to see your parents as the strong and capable adults that will take care of you. But as your parents age you have to face the reality that they are becoming frailer and sicker and you have to process that emotionally. A home caregiver can give you the time off that you need to process everything that you’re going through and your feelings about your aging parent.
If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Scarsdale and Yonkers, NY, call Griswold Home Care
and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (914) 768-9065