More than six million adults in Canada act as caregivers for family members. Two million of these caregivers are considered to be in the “sandwich generation,” which means they care for both their young children and their aging parents. However, many don’t take enough time for themselves. If you provide care for a senior loved one, here’s why you should take regular breaks from your caregiving responsibilities.
1. Increases the Ability to Provide Care
Your loved one deserves the best of you. Though it may seem counterintuitive, taking a break is one of the most important things you can do for your loved one. Taking the time to focus on your health and relationships could make it easier for you to be a caregiver. Don’t let feelings of guilt or pressure from your loved one prevent you from caring for yourself.
Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Oakville families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.
2. Prevents Social Isolation
As adults care for their senior family members, they may begin to turn down invitations from friends and family members for social activities, often because they feel guilty or there’s nobody else to care for their loved ones. Social isolation may lead to feelings of depression. A professional caregiver can keep your loved one safe and comfortable while you get out for a few hours and visit with friends. Grab lunch, see a movie, and talk to stay socially connected with those you love.
3. Reduces the Risk of Caregiver Fatigue
Caregiver fatigue is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that occurs when caring for a loved one for an extended time. Some experts believe the unreasonable demands and unrealistic expectations placed on caregivers contribute to fatigue. Some symptoms of caregiver fatigue include:
- Health changes
- Social withdrawal
Hiring an in-home caregiver or trading caregiving shifts with a family or friend can reduce caregiver fatigue.
Professional caregivers can be a wonderful source of information and support for family members caring for aging loved ones. When researching agencies that provide home care services, families are usually looking for flexible care plans, compassionate and highly trained caregivers, and 24/7 availability. Whether you need respite care to take a break from your caregiving duties or your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, you can rely on Home Care Assistance.
4. Boosts Mental Health
Many family caregivers are at increased risk for developing depression, anxiety, and social disorders when providing long-term care for a loved one. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, mental health problems in caregivers may become exacerbated when caring for loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Caregivers should take the time to talk to their therapists or enroll in group therapy designed for those who care for seniors.
5. Prevents Possible Abuse
The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates between 4 and 10 percent of seniors experience elder abuse. Elder abuse is an action that physically, emotionally, or mentally harms a senior. Experiencing caregiver fatigue or burnout increases the risk that a caregiver will act out toward a loved one. Taking a few moments each day to meditate and walking away when you feel frustrated can help you recenter should you get upset with your loved one.
Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Oakville elder care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (905) 337-1200 to learn more about our customized care plans.