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Can You Really Take Time Away as a Caregiver?

Jun 1, 2018 by Nancy Hmieleski, RN, BSN Director of Nursing

The real question you might cling to is whether you can get away with not taking time away from caregiving and the answer to that is definitely no. You aren't a machine and treating yourself as if you are is a great way to get yourself into a bad situation. Avoid that by figuring out how to take time off.

It's Vital to Take Time Off

The truth is that it's absolutely vital for you to take time away. Think about your job for a minute. If someone told you that you could never take any time away at all, even a weekend that would be disastrous. Caregiving is just the same as a job, even though what you're trying to do is to help someone that you love. You can't demand more of yourself than you should, or you're going to wind up crashing.

Isolation Is Dangerous

When you're not taking time for yourself, you're also more likely to be isolating yourself. This happens because you're so wrapped up in caregiving that it's all you're paying attention to. You're not engaging in activities that you love and you're not focusing on what you need in order to be happy and healthy. If your only human contacts are your aging adult and her medical team, you're isolating yourself.

Start with a Few Minutes a Day

It's not easy to just jump into taking an afternoon away. In fact, if you do that, you're likely to have some serious anxiety. Start slowly by taking just a few minutes away from caregiving here and there. A morning break and an afternoon break can help quite a bit. Gradually you can expand your breaks and ask people to cover for that time that you're away.

Make Time Away a Regular Appointment

One big key with this plan is that your time away needs to be a regular appointment that you keep with yourself. You can't take an afternoon off and expect that you'll be good for the next year or so. It's something that needs to be a consistent commitment that you make to yourself. 

At first, taking time away from caregiving will feel awkward. But the more that you experience the positive results, the easier it can become. Take the steps that you need to take in order to feel secure, including hiring home care providers to handle things while you're away.

If you or an elderly loved one are considering home care in Hillsborough, NJ, or the surrounding areas, call the caring professionals at Comfort Keepers of Flemington, NJ. Call today (908) 806-2220.

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