February 18 is National Caregivers Day. As the caregiver of an elderly loved one, it’s a day to celebrate and appreciate you. You give endlessly of your own time, energy, and often finances, to help care for an elderly loved one and help your loved one live a more enriching and rewarding life. And while you sacrifice a lot, you wouldn’t change it for the world. Hiring home care assistance providers can make that break successful.
So, while being “selfish” may be contrary to the way you live your life, take this day to be “self-ful,” and give thanks to yourself for all you are doing. Most likely, that means doing something that is wholly for you and taking a small break from caregiving for others.
If it’s been a while since you’ve done something for yourself, here are a few ideas on how to go about it.
The first step is to actually get it on your calendar. That means, making an appointment for a massage, putting a deposit on the weekend getaway, or asking for time off of work. Don’t just think “oh, I’ll do something that day,” because more often than not, daily demands get in the way and the next thing you know, you’re going to bed without having done anything for yourself.
Get the caregiving covered. If your loved one needs someone to help take care of him while you’re out for a few hours or a few days, ask friends and family to help give you the respite you need. You can also hire some home care assistance service, who will assign someone from their home care assistance team to spend time helping with chores around the home, preparing meals, or helping your loved one with personal tasks. You may find a home care assistance team that can help not only on National Caregivers Day but throughout the year as you care for your loved one.
Explain the situation to your loved one. Take the time to explain to your loved one that you taking a break for a little while, doesn’t mean you want to stop caregiving altogether. You don’t want your loved one to feel like he’s overburdening you. Simply explain that a little time away (you can even tell him about the holiday “National Caregivers Day,”) will make you a better caregiver when you return, and then let him know who will be helping him when you’re gone.
Make a list, and check it twice. Give yourself peace of mind while you’re away by having a list of everything that will need to be done and who is doing what. Provide copies of that list to those who will take over while you’re away.
Just go do it. Once you have everything planned, then follow through and really get away. Ignore the phone, texts, or whatever you need to take a complete break from caregiving and focus truly on yourself. Enjoy your time, however you chose to spend it. You deserve a little TLC every now and then.