Family caregivers are among the unsung heroes of our society. They selflessly dedicate themselves to caring for their loved ones, often on a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week basis. This can lead to physical and mental exhaustion, impact their relationships with others, and even affect the quality of care that they give their loved one. Respite care provides a way for family caregivers to get time away from their duties while knowing that their loved one is receiving the care and support that they need.
Benefits of Respite Care:
- Taking some time away from caregiving duties to do something enjoyable reduces stress levels. This has physical and psychological benefits, including lowering the heart rate and blood pressure, reducing the levels of cortisol and other stress hormones in the body, and improving mood.
- Just like a car cannot run without gas, we cannot function if our tank is on empty. Even if it is just for a few hours each week, respite care gives the caregiver time to recharge so that they can return to their duties with renewed energy and purpose.
- Caregivers often get so wrapped up in caring for their loved one that they become socially isolated and start to lose their sense of self. By taking time away, the caregiver can engage with others and nurture the parts of their life and personality that go beyond caregiving.
- A break is a great way to create perspective and find solutions to problems so that adjustments can be made to improve the caregiving experience for all involved.
- From a practical standpoint, respite care provides caregivers with the time needed to run errands and attend to other work or family obligations.
It is important for caregivers to remember that they should never feel guilty about utilizing a respite care service, even if their loved one is slow to accept the idea. When caregivers take time for themselves, they are able to provide a higher level of care for their loved one for a longer period of time, which allows the elderly loved one to remain in their home environment as long as possible.
Alamo Companion Services offers respite care services by compassionate, qualified caregivers. Contact us today for more information.