Respite for Carers
Whether you are caring for someone full-time or even just occasionally helping out, caring can be mentally, physically and emotionally demanding. Although taking time for yourself is often easier said than done, pushing yourself to do more, with less rest, may put you at risk for becoming sick. Your physical and emotional exhaustion may cause additional stress for the person who is ill. Ultimately, you might become unable to care for the person with illness.
Here are some tips on how to take care of yourself.
Take a break
One of the best ways to ensure that you do not run low on energy in your role as a carer is to take regular breaks and do something that you enjoy. Try to take time for yourself at least once a week. Maybe you’ll go to a movie, take a walk, go for a bike ride or have an afternoon nap. You may want to go to a restaurant or go for a walk with someone, so that you have time to talk away from the care environment. You may only feel comfortable taking a break if someone else is able to stay with the ill person.
Accept help from others
Take advantage of the help that friends and other family members may offer. They may need specific suggestions from you, as they may not know what would be most helpful for you. Perhaps you can ask a friend to go on an outing with you, pick up some groceries for you, mow the lawn or take the dog for a walk. If you are caring for someone in your home, you might suggest to your friends that they sit with the ill person while you run some errands, or even look after other things in the home. You may find great relief just in knowing that someone else is looking after even the simple tasks, like getting a drink of water or tracking down a phone or eyeglasses for the person with illness, leaving you free to do other things. If there is a hospice or palliative care program in your area, you may be able to ask for a volunteer or respite worker to come into your home to give you a break.
Juggling caring with work
Whether you are caring for someone in the home or providing occasional care in hospital or hospice, you will likely be juggling several obligations. These obligations may include working, caring for children, caring for aging parents or looking after other matters related to home life.
People differ in the ways in which they deal with these competing demands. Some people find that going to work gives them a break from their caring role and helps them re-energize, so that they can better focus on the person who is ill when they get home. Others may find that the demands of work outside the home combined with caring responsibilities are too much to manage.
This is where PCT Care Services can help you!
We offer respite carers to relieve the main carer for the time that they require. Please contact us for more specific information regarding this.