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Tips for Caregiver Guilt When Using Respite Care Services

By Jonathan Wells, 9:00 am on

First-time caregivers often tackle their new responsibilities with fervor out of the belief that it is the best way to care for their loved one. However, even with the best of intentions, you cannot be the only source of support for a senior adult who needs consistent care. When respite care becomes a necessity, it is normal to experience feelings of guilt. Here are some effective strategies to ease your concerns during the transition.

Arrange for an Initial Meeting

Although you know the caregiver you’re leaving your loved one with has passed a background check and been professionally trained, it can be nerve-wracking to leave your loved one with a stranger. When making arrangements for respite care in Douglas County, request a meeting with you, your loved one, the caregiver, and the Care Manager before care services begin. Both you and your loved one will feel better with the decision to choose respite care if you both feel comfortable with the caregiver.

Stick Around for a Visit

If your elderly loved one is nervous or upset about having another caregiver, linger at home during the first visit. Stick around for the first few minutes the caregiver is there before gradually moving on to another area of the home. Your loved one will likely have an easier time opening up initially and feel at ease knowing you’re still around, and as you watch and hear your loved one interact with his or her caregiver, many of your own worries will be eased.

Practice Self-Care

There may be times when you feel as though taking time for yourself is selfish. However, caregivers who take care of their physical and mental health are better prepared to provide care to their loved ones. During your respite time, make sure to schedule health checkups, dental appointments, and other appointments that are necessary for your personal comfort. Even a massage or new hairstyle can work wonders for your state of mind.

Maintain Ongoing Communication

It can be hard not knowing what is going on with your loved one during your time away. However, reputable Douglas County home care agencies train staff to keep daily logs and communicate with the rest of the caregiving team. Make sure to keep your respite caregiver’s contact information handy, and never hesitate to call with a question or simply to check-in during your time away. This quick reassurance will reinforce that your loved one is receiving high-caliber care while you tend to your other responsibilities.

If you could use help managing your loved one’s care needs, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We’re a leading provider of both hourly and live-in care, as well as specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care in Douglas County, CO. For more information on our customized care services, including grocery shopping, personal grooming, transportation, mobility support, and companionship, call 720-287-1685. Our friendly Care Managers are available 24/7 to answer questions or just help you get to know us better.