Kids all over the country look forward to June and summer vacation all year, but adults must take some time to relax and reboot during this sunny season as well. Elder care givers in particular should take some time out for themselves this summer.
To Care for Others, First You Must Care for Yourself
Simply by undertaking the responsibility involved in elder caregiving, you’ve proved that you are a selfless person. You’ve devoted your time and energy to a task that, while rewarding, takes a toll on you physically, emotionally and spiritually. While you may think that to provide the best elder care possible you must give constant support, but you cannot give the best of yourself if you’re stressed and burnt out. Do what’s best for you and your elder and take a vacation, no matter how short, to recharge your batteries.
Watch for Signs of Elder Caregiving Burnout
We understand that elder caregiving requires a lot of your time and energy. In fact, sometimes a break would not only be nice, it is crucial to avoid burnout. If you are experiencing any of the signs below, you are approaching elder caregiving burnout and you should schedule a vacation, or even just a day, to slow down and focus on yourself.
- Changes in mood, including becoming upset easily or being irritable and impatient with those around you
- Changes in sleep patterns: Suddenly staying up late or sleeping all day could signal burnout
- Becoming either forgetful or hyper-vigilant
How Respite Care Can Help
One option for elder care givers planning vacations is to hire respite care for that period of time. Respite care involves a trained professional taking care of your elder, either in your home or in a facility, when you are unavailable to provide elder caregiving services. While many elder care givers simply hire respite care for times when they have errands to run that are not conducive to the elder, they are a great resource to use to allow you some time for relaxation. Consider respite care to take a break from your elder caregiving duties and plan an afternoon at the beach or a weekend getaway.
Include Your Elder in Your Vacation Plans
A second option is to plan a family friendly vacation that will appeal to all generations. More and more these days vacation packages are targeted at the sandwich generation, offering attractions for teenagers and amenities for seniors, as well as opportunities for relaxation and entertainment for you. Elder caregiving is easy on trips like this. Not only will you be able to bond as a family, it will also give you precious time to rest and unwind.
Still, when planning such a vacation, elder care givers must keep the needs of their loved ones in mind. This may lead to shorter trips or excursions closer to home. Not only can these trips be just as fun and restful, they are often easier on the wallet! Sounds like a win-win to us!