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At-home caregivers for loved ones living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia endure a variety of physical and emotional challenges every day. Balancing the multiple responsibilities of home, family and work with caregiving duties can be a huge burden on any human being, leaving little or no time for personal pleasure.
For this reason, experts have even referred to devoted caregivers as the “second patients” or the “invisible victims” of Alzheimer’s disease … and for good reason. A recent Commonwealth Fund study reported that 60% of family caregivers age 19-64 surveyed reported “Fair or Poor” health and one or more chronic conditions or disabilities, compared to only 33% of non-caregivers.
Not surprisingly, many caregivers and their families view summer vacations and other enjoyable warm weather activities as distant memories of happy times past.
Says LaMia Johnson, MHA, BBA, Administrator at Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr, located in Bryn Mawr, PA, “Unfortunately, caregivers often pay for their labor of love with increased stress, physical and emotional exhaustion, personal guilt, and a decrease in their overall health and enjoyment of life.
However, there is a welcome oasis of relief that offers overburdened caregivers peace, calm and an opportunity to renew and refresh their lives without guilt. It is called respite care.Respite care provides caregivers a temporary rest from caregiving, while the person with Alzheimer's continues to receive care in a safe, socially engaging environment.
Respite care is a popular program offered here at Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr that provides important physical and emotional benefits to both caregivers and the loved ones they devote themselves to.”
According to the articles, “Respite Care,” and “Need a Break from Caregiving? Avoid Burnout, Find Respite Care,” respite care enables several valuable opportunities that some caregivers have described as “life savers.”
For example, by using respite care, caregivers can:
1. Take a well-earned summer vacation.
2. Re-engage in life. Social isolation is a major problem for caregivers. It’s important to take time to engage with your friends and family by sharing lunch, taking a shopping trip or doing whatever gives you personal enjoyment.
3. Take care of all the things you haven’t had the time for such as shopping, exercising, going to the doctor or attending a relative’s graduation or wedding.
4. Enjoy some “me time.”Relax by yourself, doing the things you enjoy.
5. Use the relaxing time away from caregiving responsibilities to see things more clearly and keep things in proper perspective.You might even think of better ways of doing things and other supportive resources you can tap into.
6. Reconnect with yourself.Always remember that you have the right to enjoy life. Your life is valuable, too, and you have no reason to feel guilty.
7. Enjoy the comfort and peace of mind of knowing that your loved one with dementia is in good hands while you are renewing and revitalizing yourself.
Respite care offers guilt-free time away for caregivers by providing their loved ones with:
LaMia adds, “Now that we’re into prime vacation season, it is the ideal time to consider respite care. Whether it’s for a day, a weekend or a couple of weeks, respite care helps busy caregivers to rediscover their lives and restore and renew themselves.”
If you would like to learn more about the many advantages of respite care, Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr would love to give you the details about our spirit-lifting program.
We also encourage you to contact us with any questions you have on dementia care or to schedule a tour. Also, we invite you to read our timely blog articles on current caregiver and dementia care topics posted on our website.
If you have comments or questions about our blog, “7 Ways Respite Helps Caregivers Have a Guilt-Free Summer Vacation,” we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences in our comments section.
Loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments require specialized care and support. They also deserve a lifestyle rich in dignity and fulfillment. Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr provides residents with Engaging Days and Meaningful Moments that emphasize individual abilities, encourage socialization and promote the highest level of independence possible. We offer a complete continuum of leading-edge programs, services and amenities that address the total physical, emotional and social needs of residents in a caring setting that offers individual suites with large private baths and the comfort of home. Our memory care community touches hearts and changes lives.
Memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or another form of memory impairment doesn’t only affect the person who has it – it affects the entire family.
If you have a loved one with early- to mid-stage memory loss, you know how challenging it can be to provide the care that’s needed while trying to maintain balance in your life. As care needs increase, you may not be able to meet them physically or emotionally. It’s often difficult to be available to care for your loved one’s health and well-being around the clock.
If and when the time comes to seek additional help, place your trust in Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr. We lift the stresses and worries of being a caregiver from your shoulders, enabling you and your family to enjoy time with your loved one again.
For more information, please call LaMia at 484.386.6323 or contact us online.
Disclaimer:The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Impressions Memory Care at Bryn Mawr and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.