Jen has been caring for her parents for almost two years and she is quickly approaching caregiver burnout. A close friend booked and prepaid a five-day beach vacation for her family months ago, but it turns out they can’t go. They’ve offered Jen the package since they don’t want it to go to waste, but her first instinct is to turn it down. She reckons she could ask for time off work, but who would care for her parents? Even if she managed to arrange respite care for five days, how could she possibly go without being mired in guilt and worrying about what’s happening back at home?
While a free vacation offer isn’t a regular occurrence for the average family caregiver, it’s likely that most can closely relate to the rest of this scenario. How many times have you passed over a social invitation, weekend trip or vacation because of the intimidating amount of planning it would take and the inevitable stress you’d feel while away? What if an emergency happens while you’re gone?
The truth is that all caregivers struggle with these concerns and many allow them to get in the way of taking the respite breaks they so badly need and deserve. Thanks to the caregiver “fix-it” mentality, it’s unrealistic to think that you’ll totally avoid some concern about what is happening at home. But, with careful planning, it is possible to take advantage of a break and come home refreshed.
How to Unplug from Caregiving: Recognize that you deserve a break...
Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer
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