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Enjoy a Guilt-free Time-out /
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Respite: Enjoy a Guilt-free Time-out
Why is it that the words “respite”
and “guilt” seems to go hand in hand? Why do we as
caregivers feel we are somehow failing our loved one by
admitting that we need help, need time to recharge our
batteries, or just need time to play a bit? Perhaps
because so many of us still hold on to the myth that
says the caregiver has to be all things to all people.
The truth is, that no matter how we try, we are not
super-duper caregiver extraordinaire. We are human with
all the same needs and feelings as every other person in
our lives. And, just like everyone else we need to take
time to smell the roses.
The thought of going away for even a brief time for many
caregivers is fraught with fears of disaster and chaos
because we are not there to over see everything. After
all, we all know that no one can replace what we do as
caregivers to our family member or loved one.
And this belief was not so far from the truth. In fact,
I still firmly believe that no one can replace the
caregiver. The love and support we provide to our charge
cannot be duplicated by anyone. Still, sometimes, it is
OK to let someone else do the best they can for our
family member, so that we can take time to regroup and
in doing so, be ale to continue to be the wonderful
caregiver that we have been to date. It is a simple
concept when you think about it. In using the principals
of respite we will ultimately be providing the very best
care to our loved one that is humanly possible.
As a caregiver it is important that we recognize that it
is ok to take a break from our caregiving duties. It is
ok to feel tired, and want to have a break from
caregiving! Not only is it OK, it is your right! You are
allowed to stay healthy both physically and emotionally.
Actually, by not doing this you are helping to create a
potential problem down the road. No one can keep going
day after day without a break, sooner or later it is
going to catch up with you, and not only will you
suffer, but also your loved will as well.
It is equally important to know that not taking that
break can and often results in medical complications to
the caregiver. If a medical emergency developed for the
caregiver, who then will help provide the care to their
Ask any caregiver who has been at it for any length of
time, and you will learn that their own health has
suffered when they failed to take proper care of
themselves. Respite care is on way in which the
caregiver can get this needed break, and hopefully do it
without that old GUILT feeling creeping in. By taking
care of you, and recharging your own batteries, you are
ultimately taking care of your loved one. There is no
need to allow guilt into the picture. All this will do
is prevent you from reaping the full rewards of a true
Respite care can be anything from a few hours a week, to
longer periods of up to two weeks or longer in some
cases in order to provide care to a loved one while the
caregiver takes a break. Respite Care provides
caregivers the opportunity to:
Take a vacation.
Have a weekend getaway.
Attend to home or work responsibilities that have been
Recharge their energy to be better prepared to provide
the attention and patience required on a daily basis.