Taking respite time is sometimes so frightening for caregivers that they just don’t deal with it at all. What happens, though, is that you end up running yourself ragged because you’re not taking any time for yourself. That’s not sustainable.
You Don’t Have to Move Faster than You’re Ready to Move
You absolutely need to be taking respite time. But if you’re not ready to move as quickly on this as you would like to move, you don’t have to force yourself. Let yourself do what you need to do in order to get used to this concept. One way you can do this is to bring in home care providers and start leaving the room while they help your senior. You may not be ready to leave the house just yet, but leaving the room for a little while can be a huge accomplishment.
Make Sure that Anyone Helping Out Has Information They Need
Start putting together information packets. What would anyone taking care of your senior need to know? Home care providers will be able to reference that information as they need it and you’ll feel comfortable knowing that they’ve got not only your contact information, but also an entire “encyclopedia” of information that you’ve left for them.
Plan How You’re Going to Use Your Time
Respite time is just for you. It’s time that you can use in any way that you see fit, but that can be a little intimidating. What can help is for you to plan out how you’re going to use your time. You might allocate a set number of hours to going to the gym, for instance, or to going to therapy appointments for yourself. Whatever it is that you need to do, knowing what your plans are can help you to feel more comfortable in being away because you’re not left at loose ends.
Enjoy the Time You’re Taking
It’s vital that you’re getting something out of respite time when you use it. Ideally what you’re getting is an ability to recharge and to do anything other than be a caregiver. You don’t have to feel guilty for taking this time, either. This is time that you’re meant to use for relaxation.
Getting used to respite time may take you longer than you expect and that’s okay. You shouldn’t feel as if you have a strict timetable you have to keep. You can’t put it off forever, though.