Olympia, WA

How Does Respite Care Help Family Caregivers?


As a family caregiver, you must take care of yourself too.

Caring for a loved one can be very fulfilling. Family members often step in as caregivers to help an elderly parent or grandparent, chronically ill family member or loved one with a disability because they are loving and compassionate, and because they would do anything to ensure that person has the best quality of life possible.

However, caregiving is often a full-time job that can impact the health and well-being, job performance and overall life balance of the caregiver. Suddenly, as the volunteer family caregiver, you find yourself putting your own needs aside and you forget to take care of yourself. Or maybe you think you can do it all without anyone’s help. This can lead to caregiver stress, anger or resentment, and it sometimes can feel like the relationship you have with a family member is now an obligation. If you’re finding it difficult to care for someone by yourself, don’t let it get this far.

Respite care can help.

What is Respite Care?

Olympia respite care services are designed to offer temporary relief for you, the family caregiver, by having a trained, professional caregiver come in and take care of your loved one when you are unable to do so.  Respite care allows you to take some time off from your responsibilities, as the primary caregiver, so that you can run errands, go to the doctor, have coffee with a friend or even vacation for a few days — focus on yourself. Those professional caregivers are there to make sure your loved one is cared for in a safe, familiar environment while you take a much-needed break.

Respite care services can be provided for a couple of hours to an entire day, or even longer if needed. Services can include companion care, mobility assistance, bathing and personal hygiene, dementia care, special diets and meal preparation, light housekeeping and much more.

Taking Care of YOU

Family caregivers who don’t take time for themselves can experience increased levels of stress, exhaustion, and even serious health problems. Caregivers should not feel guilty.  All studies of caregiving show that caregivers need some time for themselves.

  • Take a break. Step out of the everyday routine – if even it’s just for a few hours a week – to relax and re-energize.
  • Spend time doing something you love. Read a book, see a movie, spend time with family and friends or take part in your favorite hobby.
  • Plan a weekend getaway. Taking an occasional mini vacation can help you re-focus, unwind and get the rest you need.
  • Take care of your own commitments. When you’re caring for someone else, it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with your own errands such as shopping, exercising, getting a haircut or going to the doctor

Wanting a break is normal, and it can strengthen the relationship you have with the person you are caring for. If you’re happy, healthy and rested, everyone wins!

FirstLight’s respite care services can help you find the “you” you’ve been missing without compromising the quality of care and attention your family member needs. Contact FirstLight Home Care – South Sound to inquire about how our respite care, elder care and recovery services can make a difference in your life.

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