The theme for National Family Caregivers Month November 2015 is “Respite: Care for Caregivers”
Respite – the chance to take a breather, the opportunity to re-energize – is as important as any other item on your caregiver’s to-do list. People think of respite as a luxury, but considering caregivers’ increased risk for health issues from chronic stress, those risks are a lot costlier than some time away to recharge. Respite is the key to your own well-being. Respite protects your own health, strengthens family relationships, prevents burn-out and allows your loved one to stay at home up to three times longer. No wonder respite is one of the most frequently requested support services for family caregivers.
R is for “Rest and Relaxation” – Everyone needs a little “R and R” – especially family caregivers. Relaxing is the best way to return refreshed to handle your many responsibilities as a caregiver.
E as in “Energize” – Caregiving is often round-the-clock 24/7. Respite isn’t simply “getting a few hours off.” It’s necessary to help you reenergize, reduce stress and provide care for your loved one.
S as in “Sleep” – Caregivers often have sleep problems. Address sleep problems and insomnia before they take too great a toll on your health.
P is for “Programs that can help you” – Respite – which can be in the home or out of the home – can be hard to find but there are programs available to help you.
I as in “Imagination” – Let your mind run free; read a book; see a movie. You have been so occupied with the nuts-and-bolts of caregiving that refreshing your mind will actually help you be a better caregiver.
T as in “Take Five” – …or better yet, take ten. Do you find yourself saying, “I wish I had just ten minutes to myself”? Don’t feel guilty. You need a reprieve – a few minutes to temporarily disengage.
E is for “Exhale” – A simple breath in and then a long exhale can help you focus and increase your vitality. A few deep breaths can give you more energy, reduce stress, and lift your mood.