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For the family caregiver, taking care of an elderly or chronically ill family member, or a loved one with a disability, is something that you do out of love, compassion and desire for a meaningful connection to the person you love. But caregiving is a demanding job. It can be all-consuming and exhausting as you try to navigate the healthcare system, manage appointments, advocate for the care receiver, and take care of their growing day-to-day needs…all while trying to do those same things for yourself and your family.

Respite care, or temporary relief from your caregiving tasks, is critical. As the demand for a loved one’s care increases, oftentimes family caregivers feel inundated with responsibilities, and sometimes they may even feel guilty for needing some time to themselves. A family caregiver can experience burnout from his or her duties, so taking time off must be a priority.

Here is why respite care is essential for family caregivers:

It allows them to continue to work full time. Many family caregivers must decide between working their paying job or caring for their loved one full-time. Most often they cannot do both, and they are not financially situated to leave their full-time job. Having a home care provider come to your elderly parent’s home to provide respite and look after them while you are at work can bring peace of mind to everyone.

Taking short breaks helps maintain physical and emotional health. Caregivers need to frequently recharge and rejuvenate. Respite care provides a chance to practice self-care – take a yoga class, see their doctor, read a book or take a nap. Time away allows the caregiver to unwind, gain a fresh perspective and develop better ways of caring for their loved one.

It lets caregivers stay connected to family and friends. Taking a break from caring for others gives you an opportunity to carve out time for your family and friends. Respite care helps you maintain your sense of self and it allows you to stay social on a regular basis.

Respite gives back time in their day to do the things they enjoy. Respite care allows the family caregiver to do something they enjoy, even if it means simply sitting down at home to read a book. Taking time to do a hobby or something you love can greatly improve your mood and bring a sense of calm to your life.

The most important benefits of using respite care include relieving stress, renewing your energy, and restoring a sense of balance to your personal life. Taking a break from being a caregiver to focus on yourself, your other responsibilities and your own family is key to keeping a healthy lifestyle while caring for a loved one.

Contact us for more information on how FirstLight’s Respite Care Services can give you peace of mind while you take some time off to focus on yourself for a while. Respite care from FirstLight can last anywhere from just a few hours per day to weeks at a time. Our local caregivers have solutions that are right for you.

FirstLight Home Care is proud to CHAMPION the family caregiver, offering empathy, advice, and support for those who provide countless hours of care to their loved ones living with Alzheimer’s. We want to provide a helping hand, relieve some of the stress that comes with caregiving, and give you back a few hours in your overwhelmingly busy day.

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