Those caring for a loved one are more likely to experience depression and suffer intense stress levels – leading to increased risks of heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure – than non-caregivers.
To combat these consequences, experts suggest taking advantage of respite care services:
- Rejuvenation – Doing what brings you joy can calm your nerves, decrease your heart rate and improve your mood. Pursuing what you love can be rejuvenating.
- A Break – Balancing the responsibilities in your life can drain you of energy. But taking a break can allow you to re-energize and be more effective in what you do.
- Proximity – Distancing yourself from your situation – even for just a few hours – gives you the chance to be ‘off’ for a while, so you can relax and be at ease.
- Fun – No matter what our responsibilities, everyone has the right to enjoy life. Having time to do as you please allows for purposeful, fulfilled living.
- Identity – You are more than just your loved one’s caregiver. It’s important to maintain your sense of self and take care of your personal needs and desires.
- Perspective – Spending time away from caregiving can allow you to see things more clearly and gain a better perspective. Having time to rest can even help you think of new ideas or resources.
- Social Life – Caregivers suffer from social isolation as much as their loved ones do. It’s important to spend time with your friends and family and keep your social ties healthy.
- Respite care provides the caregivers the benefit of experiencing ‘normal’ life. They can
- go on vacation
- take care of themselves emotionally and physically and
- do the things they enjoy.
Respite care is also beneficial to loved ones who could use a change of pace or scenery from their daily routine. If a family is considering round-the-clock professional care at a senior living community, giving their loved one a respite stay is a good way to experience the community before committing to moving in.”
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