The meaningful bonds and connections that can be built and intensified as you care for someone that you love can be incredibly fulfilling and deeply rewarding.
While the emotionally enriching and relationally stirring feelings that can come from a caring relationship are undeniable, another reality of caregiving is that it can often be stressful, overwhelming, and draining. The often all-consuming nature of considering needs and delivering care can alter caregiver’s feelings of health and wellbeing in negative ways that impact their capacity to take part in enjoyable aspects of their lives to the fullest extent. Taking on the entire breadth of responsibility for the provision of care at all times requires a great deal of work and sacrifice for one person to carry on their own, and people who are committed to caregiving must also remember that making sure their own needs are met should be made a priority as well. It can be difficult to prioritize your own health and wellbeing when you are so deeply dedicated to pouring yourself in to caring for another person, but exploring the option of Respite Care, which is designed to address this very problem, could be a positive way to bring about a greater sense of balance and ease.
What is Senior Respite Care?
Respite Care is a service that offers shorter-term care to seniors in order to create the space, time, and opportunity for those who typically deliver their care to take a well-deserved break to recharge, reset, and recuperate. The duration and length of time over which Respite Care takes place can vary based upon the needs of both the senior and the caregiver. Respite care, a service that is available through Retire-At-Home, offers caregivers an opportunity to prioritize and create a greater sense of balance and equilibrium in their lives as they take some time to tend to their own needs, all the while remaining confident that their loved ones are receiving care that meets the highest standards of compassion and quality.
Benefits of Respite Care
Respite care can lead to a whole bunch of positive outcomes for caregivers who dedicate so much of their time to caring for others, and deserve the opportunity to take some time to care for themselves.
- Time to Rest: Providing care can be challenging in its own right, but caring for another person can be made especially difficult when your energy is depleted and you aren’t running on full charge. Respite care can offer the opportunity for caregivers to get in some much-needed sleep and feel more rested overall, not only so that they can feel more energetic, improve their own health, and perform better within the context of their own daily lives, but also so that they can be in better physical and mental state to provide care to their loved ones once they are back in the swing of things.
- Social Engagement: Taking some time to be with friends, family, and people who help create a sense of joy is important for us all. Caregiving can be an isolating task, and it can become easy to feel withdrawn or separate from social networks that once played an important role in everyday life. During Respite Care, caregivers can take the time to spend with other people, attend social engagements, and rekindle relationships that are positive and grounding in their lives.
- Sense of Self: Devoting so much time and energy to delivering care to another person can result in caregivers losing some of their sense of self. While caring for a loved one can add feelings of meaning and purpose to life and can be truly fulfilling, it is important for caregivers to also keep in mind that they are still their own people, and are just as valuable. Respite Care can create an opportunity for reflection and for caregivers to rediscover who they are outside of the context of providing care.
- Distance and Perspective: Sometimes it can be challenging to see things for what they are when you are too close to the situation. Respite care offers the opportunity for caregivers to take a step back and evaluate things with a little bit more distance and perspective. This can help set up an opportunity to assess strengths and weaknesses, decide what is working and what is not, and determine whether any changes need to be made moving forward that might improve the situation for everyone involved.
- A Chance for Renewal: Everyday activities that create a sense of pleasure and calm often get placed on the back-burner when care needs that are viewed as higher priority must be attended to for a loved one. Respite care can offer some time for caregivers to take part in activities that help them to feel renewed and bring them a sense of joy or peace. Whether it be a leisurely stroll, reading a book, participating in a hobby, or any other pleasurable activity, big or small. Feeling renewed helps to create a better mental state, improves the health of the physical body, and can help to improve demeanor when interacting with others.
While we may feel inclined to take on the full breadth of responsibility that accompanies the provision of care, the reality is that we cannot juggle everything at all times and still keep ourselves healthy too. Taking the time to rest and reset is absolutely vital not only for the health of caregivers themselves, but also so that they can put their best foot forward when providing care to others. Respite care is available through Retire-At-Home in Edmonton, and can be an incredible resource for caregivers to confidently make arrangements for themselves to have a well-earned break and return to their caregiving responsibilities when they are feeling fresh and ready to reassume their caregiving roles.