Taking care of an elderly loved one full time doesn't always leave you time to care for your own needs, especially if your parent or grandparent has dementia or some other life-altering health problem. You may eventually burn out from your caregiving duties and lose focus on life, or you may experience problems with your own health. Adult day care centers offer the respite care services you need now. Such centers are a safe place for your loved one to meet new people, experience new things, and receive the care they need while you take a much-needed break during the day. Here's how respite care services work, what you can do during your time off, and how you can protect your health.
What's Respite Care?
Caregiver burnout isn't something to take lightly or ignore. It develops when you become overwhelmed or exhausted from your caregiving responsibilities. You experience a wide range of emotional, personal, and physical changes that may endanger your loved one's health and well-being. If you don't take a respite or time away from your duties, you may eventually go from happy and supportive to sad and angry.
Respite care doesn't just give you time to sleep off your exhaustion. It also gives you time to seek companionship from friends and other members of your family. You can also spend time at a day spa, visit your local movie theater, or simply sit by the pool and relax.
You may wish to spend some of your respite care time taking care of your own health, as well.
How Can You Improve or Protect Your Own Health?
If lift or transfer your loved one throughout the day and night because they have ambulatory problems, it can damage or strain your back over time. You may experience chronic back, hip, leg, and neck pain because of your injuries. You place your loved one at risk for falls and skin injuries if you can't transfer or lift them properly.
Taking time to see a doctor or specialist about your pain protects your health so that you can continue with your caregiving duties. It also gives your doctor a chance to examine your body to see if you require additional care, such as physical therapy and pain medications.
You may also wish to speak to your doctor about managing the stress and other problems you have because of your responsibilities. In many cases, a doctor recommends counseling and therapy to help people cope with their caregiving duties.
How Often Should You Use Respite Care Services?
You should use respite care services for as long as you feel comfortable or need to do so. An adult day care center offers a wide range of activities to keep your loved one busy while you enjoy your time off or get the medical care you need for yourself.
If you have questions about adult day care or respite care, contact a center today.