Need a Break as a Family Caregiver? Assisted Living Is the Answer!
Maybe you are one of those rare individuals who puts in 80, 90, 100 hours per week at your job, or even more, week after week, month after the month, year after year. If you are, you are the exception to the rule. Most people need breaks, and that includes the average family caregiver.
Believe it or not, there are an estimated 44 or 45 million people supporting elderly and disabled family members (Forbes). They may not consider themselves “caregivers,” but that is precisely what they are. Many of them never even consider assisted living as an option because they don’t know very much about it, have certain misconceptions regarding what it is and what it offers, or feel this is their responsibility. Their job.
Yet, when you take on the role of a family caregiver, even if it starts out as just a couple of hours a week, it almost always increases, usually very quickly to about five or 10 or 20 hours of your time spent driving to the senior’s house, checking in on him or her, preparing meals, running to the pharmacy, taking them to doctors’ appointments, doing grocery shopping for them, and the list goes on and on.
When do you have time for yourself?
More importantly, calculate how much of your life is devoted to everything but you.
Single parents would never question how little time they have for themselves. They do whatever they need to in order
to take care of their children. They might work two or three part-time jobs, run kids to and from school or preschool, to sporting events, and so forth, crawling into bed late at night completely exhausted and scraping together just a few hours of sleep.
That’s not healthy, but it’s something people all across the country and around the world do because they have to. What about your work supporting your elderly mother or father, for example? Have you really figured out just what you are dedicating to him or her?
Caregiver burnout is a real thing.
It can lead to a lack of focus, frustration, outbursts, the loss of a job or career, damage to the relationship you have with this senior or other family members or close friends, and so on.
When you choose a quality assisted living facility, you may assume it has to be full-time, meaning the senior will need to move in. That’s not always the case. Some assisted living communities offer respite care.
It could be for several days, just overnights, a week or two at a time, or even daytime support services. There are often many options people simply don’t realize are available, especially when they are in the midst of difficult times.
Take a moment and consider how your life and the senior’s life (who depends on you) would benefit from respite care services offered by a quality, experienced assisted living community near you. You may realize in just these passing thoughts how much time, how much of your life you have been putting into work as a family caregiver without ever realizing it.