By Helen Hunter, ACSW, CMSW
(Page 2 of 2)
Respite care is especially important for anyone
who is serving as a caregiver, but even more so for
an older person, who may have their own health
issues to consider. Paying attention to their own
health is critical for caregivers – if the caregiver
becomes ill, who will then care for the dependent
person? There are a number of formal services which
provide respite care, and grandparents can also rely
on other family members, friends or neighbors to
give them a break from the daily demands of care.
Finding time to get away is crucial to “recharging
batteries,” so that the grandparent feels refreshed
and is in the best optimum mental health needed to
serve as a caregiver.
Taking time to eat a well-balanced diet,
exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep and
getting regular check-ups from the doctor are
paramount to making sure that the grandparent is in
the best, optimum physical health. It is also
important to remember to have fun! Humor is the
spice of life. Everyone feels happier and healthier
when they have a positive attitude and can find
laughter and humor in daily life. Try it – you’ll
see what I mean!!
Helen Hunter, ACSW,
LSW, GCM is an independent geriatric social worker
consultant and trainer and spiritual director. She
is also a published author, focusing on elder care
and family care issues. Licensed in the states of
New Jersey, Florida, New York and Connecticut, she
currently lives in Middlesex, New Jersey.
Helen is very grateful for having the love
and support of her maternal grandparents, who lived
with her family after her father died when she was a
preteen. They served not only as mentors, but as
teachers and supporters, always being present when
needed. All grandchildren should be so lucky to have
grandparents who were as loving and caring!