Providing care for a loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be a burden. As a caregiver, you may feel guilty thinking of it as a burden, but you can’t afford to ignore the stresses of caregiving. If you don’t focus on your own health and life, you’re going to worsen your ability to take proper care of your loved one. One of the best ways to reverse the effects of caregiver burnout is respite care, and the respite care services at Querencia are here to help.
Am I Suffering from Caregiver Burnout?
The health of the caregiver is as important as the health of the person in their care. But not every caregiver prioritizes their own health as much as they should. They may often feel stressed and exhausted, but feelings of guilt prevent them from finding an outlet that would allow them to relax and recharge. In fact, 23% of American caregivers surveyed by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP said that caregiving has made their own health worse. The consequences of neglecting your own health as a caregiver can be dire, affecting your ability to provide adequate care and support for the loved one in your charge.
To avoid caregiver burnout and be able to take action should you ever experience it, you have to understand the warning signs. Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Do you often feel like you have to do everything yourself, and also that you should be doing even more?
- Have you withdrawn from activities that were once a source of joy for you?
- Are you more often sad, exhausted, or angry than you used to be?
- Do you regularly feel stressed about money and health care decisions?
- Do you constantly worry about the safety of the person under your care?
If you answered “yes,” to one or more of the questions above, you are likely experiencing stress as a caregiver and may need to take steps to avoid burnout.
Respite Care at Querencia
To help alleviate the stress of caregiving, consider respite care. If you’re unfamiliar with respite care, it is a type of professional setting that offers caregivers a temporary reprieve from their regular caregiving duties. Often offered as an in-home service or at an adult day center or residential care community, respite care provides the care and support your loved one needs in a safe and welcoming environment. This affords you the opportunity to take a break from your regular routine and use this time to attend to your own needs however you see fit.
If you live near Austin, Texas, the award-winning health center at Querencia offers respite care services. A seven-day minimum commitment is required to ensure that we can provide the best care for your loved one, while also freeing up ample time for you to devote to yourself.
No matter how you choose to spend your respite, you can take comfort knowing that your loved one is in a community that can provide the care, support and engagement they need.
Ways to Discuss Respite Care with Your Loved One
Respite care can be a sensitive conversation with the loved one in your care. Carefully consider the time and place to broach this topic with them, because where and when you have the conversation may affect how they react to it. Your first instinct may be to talk about it at home, but that setting might inspire more emotion, which can make the conversation more difficult.
First, make sure that you’ve done your homework. Don’t go into the conversation without being prepared for whatever questions they may have. Look into the types of respite care services that are available near you and be ready to discuss different options.
Keep the focus of the conversation on them as much as possible. They will want to know that their needs are being considered in this decision, even if respite care benefits you, as well. The benefits of respite care are also an essential element of the conversation. Explain how respite care could improve their care and even help maintain a healthy relationship between you two.
How to Overcome Obstacles to Respite Care
If your loved one resists the idea of respite care, try to better understand the reasons behind their reluctance. Empathy is critical to these discussions, because understanding and acknowledging their feelings will only help you find a path to respite care that is comfortable for the both of you. You may also want to consider involving a trusted confidante or their primary care doctor, if your loved one would benefit from hearing the perspective of a trusted friend or medical professional.
Once you have identified respite care providers in your community, see if your loved one would be willing to pay them a visit or take a tour of the facility with you. Respite care is not something to rush into. Take as much time as your loved one needs to feel open to the idea.
If you would like to learn more about our respite care services and how we might be able to support you and your loved one, we encourage you to fill out the form below or give us a call at 512-610-9433.