Taking care of an elderly individual
Taking care of an elderly individual, whether it’s a family member or someone else, will usually take a lot out of you. Stopping by their house, making sure that they have everything they need, helping them into and out of the shower, and so on can be taxing to even the strongest, healthiest individual. When you need to take a break (or a time out) from elder care, especially when you’re caring for a loved one, how can you do this without feeling guilty about it?

The first thing that you need to do is understand the importance of quality elder care. While your mother or father may struggle to tend to their own personal care these days, that doesn’t mean they are necessarily incapable of doing anything for themselves anymore. However, they rely on you for some of the things that they can’t do for or by themselves any longer.

Depending on the level of elderly health care that they require, it could be highly taxing to you. As with any type of job that you have, once in a while you need to take a break. It’s why we are provided with vacation time from our jobs –everyone needs some time to step back and recharge their batteries.

The same holds true when you’re caring for a loved one. Home care for the elderly is a job, whether you’re caring for a family member without being paid for it or it’s your nine to five job; you need to think of it, and realize that it is, a job.

As such, you need a break once in a while. So how can you take a break? First, you need to find someone else who can provide elderly health care for the patient. Respite Services are designed exclusively for this purpose.
Second, you need to accept that if you don’t take a break, you’re more likely to make mistakes when providing this level of care to the patient. The more burned out you get, the less inspired you’ll be to go an visit, especially if you don’t think that they need help that day. When you’re there with them, you will have less patience too.

If you feel guilty, or if the elderly individual tries to make you feel guilty for taking a break, without them or not, remind them that their care is important to you, which is why you’re taking a break. When you come back, refreshed and recharged, the quality of care will be exceptional. Then they’ll also realize why it’s so important.

There’s nothing to feel guilty about when taking a break from elder care. In fact, every so often it’s absolutely essential.

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