When you are responsible for taking care of a special needs person, whether an adult or child, you can end up with your life revolving around it. While no one is ever going to be able to care for your loved one the way you do, there are companies that provide wonderful, caring assistants to fill in when you need to take a break. There is no need to feel guilty when you have someone come and take over for a while. In fact, it is a good thing for everyone, you, the person you are caring for, your family, and your friends. Here are just a few of the many improvements you will notice when you step back for a bit.
Continually caring for someone else often means you do not properly take care of yourself all the time. You may not be sleeping as well or as much as you need. You might ignore a small health concern. You do not take the time to relax and just be yourself. In addition, you probably don't have any time to spend with other people. This can cause you to become very ill, impatient, unhappy, and unable to function at your optimum. When you use respite care, whether it is for an hour a day, half a day once or twice a week, or even for a whole day on a regular basis, you can step away from things and just be yourself.
The Person You Are Caring For
Even though many special needs children, and some elderly people feel better when there is a constant routine, they can also feel any time you are upset, or moody. While the first few visits with a respite care giver may be rough, things will smooth out over time. The "patient" will become accustomed to and enjoy the new routine. He or she will also feel that you are "better" after the break. In addition, having another person around regularly provides more opportunity to notice a problem or change with the patient. It is possible you may not realize something is happening because the change is subtle and does not make a big impact when you see the constantly. Finally, if there is ever an emergency where you have to leave your loved one in someone else's care, everyone will be familiar with each other and it will go much smoother.
Your Family and Friends
When you are always busy with one person, you tend to leave others out. Your children may feel they are not worth your attention, or come to resent the one you are caring for. Taking time to be with just them will make your relationship stronger and let them know you do love them too. This is often the same for a spouse or significant other. Your friends will be concerned that you are not taking time for yourself, or for them and will try to encourage you for a while, but eventually, they will drift away and you will not have any left.
Respite care like Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care offers you the chance to live a normal life for a while. It will help you to stay healthy in many ways. The better you feel and the better you take care of yourself, the better you will be able to care for your loved one. Take advantage of respite care so you can do your best at all times.