Respite Care Helps Reduce Family Caregiver Stress

stressed out caregiver sitting on couch

Learn to recognize the signs of family caregiver stress and see what a difference respite care can make.

Life in general can be incredibly stressful! You may be carrying a variety of responsibilities on your shoulders: a career, taking care of your home, raising children, caring for your spouse or life partner, and trying to care for yourself along the way, too. Now add in the complexities of providing care for an older family member, and it’s easy to see how quickly family caregiver stress can escalate to burnout, depression, or other serious health problems.

The key is to recognize when your stress level is elevating, and to know what to do to reduce it as soon as possible.

Signs of Family Caregiver Stress

Take a quiet moment to yourself and do an honest self-assessment of the following stress warning signs. Are you:

  • Feeling worried, anxious, fatigued, or overwhelmed?
  • Struggling to get enough sleep – or, sleeping too much?
  • Experiencing unintentional weight gain or loss?
  • Becoming irritated more easily and snapping at others?
  • Losing interest in once-enjoyed activities?
  • Experiencing headaches or other physical pain more frequently?
  • Turning to alcohol or drugs to find relief?

If you’re struggling with any or all of these red flags, it’s time to take action. One of the best ways to address stress is by taking regular, routine time away for self-care – something that can be incredibly difficult for busy family caregivers. The answer? Respite care.

What Is Respite Care?

Respite care provides you with a partner in care, so you can take the time away you need to relax and rejuvenate, allowing you to provide a higher quality of care for an older loved one. The respite caregiver can fill in as much or as little as you need, but the goal is for your breaks to be scheduled on a regular basis, and to make them a top priority.

If you or the senior in your care feel a bit uncertain about bringing a caregiver into the home, you’re not alone. There are steps you can take, however, to ensure a smooth and comfortable transition to care. For instance, you may want to remain in the home with the senior the first few times the caregiver visits. This gives everyone the chance to get to know one another, and for the caregiver to become familiar with the senior’s routines and preferences. Or, you can start with a shorter break, building up to longer durations as you and the senior both feel more comfortable.

Benefits of Respite Care

The bond created between an older adult and their caregiver quickly grows as the two become companions. This additional opportunity for socialization is crucial to a senior’s health, alleviating loneliness and boredom, reducing the risk for depression, and much more.

As a family caregiver, you receive the gift of time to spend however you choose, which can feel incredibly freeing. Some ideas for stress-relieving activities you may want to pursue include:

  • Attending a caregiver support group, either in person or online, to make connections with others who can empathize with you
  • Meeting a friend for coffee or lunch
  • Joining a gym or signing up for an exercise or swim class
  • Talking with a professional counselor to work through any difficult emotions you’re experiencing
  • Going for a walk or jog
  • Stretching out on a hammock with a good book while listening to music

We’re Here to Help!

As the leading provider of help at home in Wentzville and the surrounding areas, Visiting Care Giving Services is here to partner with you to provide the ongoing respite care you need. While you take time for yourself, let us help with services such as:

  • Planning and preparing nutritious meals
  • Doing laundry and other light housekeeping tasks
  • Providing companionship for conversations, reminiscing, games, puzzles, exercise, hobbies, etc.
  • Transporting and accompanying the senior to fun outings, doctors’ appointments, etc.
  • Ensuring medications are taken as prescribed
  • And much more

Take the first step towards alleviating family caregiver stress today. Call us at (636) 493-9058 to learn more!