Our #1 advice to stressed caregivers is to take regular breaks away from caregiving. Whether its an hour each day, a day each week, or a week or two out of town, every single caregiver needs to have some time for yourself otherwise you will simply burn out. When you’re feeling the stresses and strains, and especially when your own health is suffering, you need to find some time off!
Family and Friends
For most folks, the easiest way to have a break is to ask family and friends for help. At first it may seem like even more work because you have to teach them your loved one’s routine, explain medications, and help them deal with the inevitable problems. But, once they get the hang of it, you can take some well deserved breaks. Try having them come for a few hours when you are there so they can observe how you handle different things like meals, walks, bathrooms etc.
Adult Day Care
Adult Day Care is exactly what it sounds like: a place that specializes in looking after adults (usually seniors) for several hours, allowing you to focus on other things. Each facility offers different programs, but they usually do things like meals, social activities, exercise, and physical therapy. You can search online for “Adult Day Care” in your town or look at the government’s eldercare locator website. Prices vary from around $25 to $100 per day depending on your location and needs. Medicare does not pay for Adult Day Care, however Medicaid may pay if your loved one is eligible, and other assistance may be available in your state.
Overnights in Assisted Living or Nursing Facilities
Many of the same centers that offer Adult Day Care also take seniors in for overnights. While these costs are much higher, overnights give you longer breaks from caregiving to travel, attend weddings or graduations, or just have a couple of days of down time.