The commitment you made to care for your elderly parent probably means a lot to them but it doesn’t mean you have to do all of the caregiving 24/7 every day of the year alone. The most important thing for any caregiver to learn is that to be able to give yourself to take care of others, you have to take care of yourself first. Burnt out caregivers can’t give the same level of care. The stress can make them prone to depression and illness that would leave them unable to care for the ones who depend on them. Caring for a parent is hard work.
Taking a well deserved break from caregiving is not a failure in your commitment to care for your parent like they cared for you. Arranging safe, qualified, respite care on a regular or occasional basis can allow you to balance your parent’s needs with the other parts of your life. Everyone will be happier.
If you’re a member of the sandwich generation, juggling the care of your parents and the care of your dependent children, you may need respite care for your parent for only a few hours at a time while you are busy with your children’s activities or while you take your children on an active vacation that wouldn’t be suitable for a senior. If you don’t yet have children, maybe you need someone experienced in the special needs of caring for seniors so that you and your husband can enjoy an evening alone or a weekend getaway. It’s okay to get help to care for your parent no matter what you plan to do with your free time.