When you, as the adult child of a senior with need, assume the responsibilities of caretaker for your elder loved one, it may become difficult to balance your responsibilities for assisting your parent with their life and finding time to live your own. Life’s special occasions and landmark events may occasionally create need for you to break away and take some time off from your duties as caregiver.
An anniversary dinner with your spouse, a daughter’s dance recital, or an important business trip may call for attention and priority. With proper planning and anticipation, your world doesn’t have to fall apart with anxiety and guilt whenever you can’t personally be around to look after your senior loved one’s needs and have to take caregiving breaks. Below we provide some helpful strategies for how to take a break from your caregiving duties while still keeping your peace of mind.
- Call friends and family to care-give while you are away. Typically these are the people closest to you that you can trust to monitor and care for your elder loved one properly. Another plus, is that your elder parent probably already has a comfortable, relaxed relationship with these people, and there is no risk of awkward unfamiliarity or new introductions. Usually your close friends and family will gladly help you out with monitoring a senior loved one, so it is free or relatively cheap to enlist their care.
- In-home care and other personal care assistants can take care of business at home when you cannot. In home care professionals and skilled nurses can be elder companions qualified to look after a senior’s needs and keep the house habitable. Trusting a stranger to watch over your loved one may be a little unnerving at first, so make sure to find someone with a good referral, whether from a friend or reliable reviews and testimonies on in-home care agency websites online.
- Adult day care facilities may be a good alternative to in-home care in circumstances where you have to be away for long periods of time during the day. Adult day care provides an escape from the boredom and tedium of sitting around the house all day by giving seniors who need monitoring and medical attention a social and recreational outlet under the watch of trained professionals.
- Assisted living may be a viable option for seniors who may still be able to live relatively independently but just need a little help with some daily tasks, such as dining, dressing, bathing, etc. Placing your senior loved one in a reputable assisted living facility nearby may allow you the security of knowing your senior loved one is safe and in good hands, with you on call to meet any additional needs if necessary.
Caregiving for senior parents is done by adult children of various lifestyles. Some caregivers have the time to stay at home and offer more direct, continuous care than others who may have a career to balance with their caregiving duties. Regardless of your living circumstance, there are options available to make sure your senior loved one continues to receive the care he or she requires in the moments when you must be called away. It is not neglectful to place an elder in the care of a trusted professional for times when you have other obligations to attend to or need caregiving breaks.