By Christine Stewart
Having a break from day-to-day responsibilities is important for everyone. Respite programs provide temporary relief from your ongoing care responsibilities. If you are a full-time caregiver, try to take some time off each week. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your respite.
• Leave the details of other family members as emergency contacts.
• Try not to focus on caregiving or the person you are caring for—he or she is in good hands.
• Avoid feelings of guilt by reminding yourself how important it is to have a break. Taking care of your mental and emotional health will help you to be a better caregiver.
• Have realistic expectations when you return from your respite. The situation itself will not have changed, but your ability to deal with it may be improved.
• Depending on where you live, you could be able to access respite services at very little or no cost. Services may be provided where the person you are caring for lives, or through facilities that have short-term places reserved for respite care.