Home Care in Madison FL
You have generously offered your services as a primary family caregiver to your aging parent. You have also, repeatedly, heard about family caregiver “burnout,” and you realize the importance of taking time off for yourself. You’ve even gone the next step and have checked out online travel destinations. But fear is holding you one step short of making that reservation.
A Parent’s Fears
You may have come across your parent’s concerned expression when you mentioned your plan for a week off. They have come to depend on you for their everyday needs as well as their emotional support system, and the thought of separation has left them anxious. Quell their fears with a heart-to-heart conversation. Let them know how important this vacation is to you and, if possible, that you plan on keeping in touch with them for the duration of the trip. Then let them have a say in who will assist them when you’re away. Consider scheduling a few interviews with your local in-home care agency if you don’t already have an in-home care provider for your parent. Be sure to have them work with your parent a day or two prior to your departure so that your parent can become comfortable with them and realize their fears were unfounded.
If you’re not able to maintain a home care provider fulltime, the next step is defining the tasks that need to be completed on the days they are not going to be there. Then, assign those activities to your additional support team. Consider the following: daily hygiene, meal preparation, grocery shopping, light-housekeeping, medication reminders, and transportation. Try to keep your loved one’s general routine as much as possible. If they normally take a walk after lunch with assistance, put that in the schedule. If they attend a shared meal at the senior center Thursday evenings, put that in the schedule. Then throw a large net. In addition to family and friends, neighbors and volunteers may be available. The next-door neighbor may be unable to pitch in physically, but they may be more than happy to drop by in the afternoon for a social chat or in the evening for a shared meal.
The Family Caregiver’s Fears
You may find it difficult to leave your parent for a week. You’re aware of everything you do for them on a daily basis and are concerned that all their needs and safety issues will not be met. Leaving an organized schedule so that everyone knows what is expected of them and when it is expected should ease your fears. Be sure the schedule contains medication reminders. If an in-home care provider is assisting, know that they have cared for countless seniors and your loved one is in good hands. It’s even likely that your parent will request continued support from your home care provider once you return.