Respite is Valuable

By Jane Rogers, RN
Respite, or relief from care duties, for even a short while can be valuable for improving the caregiver’s physical and mental well-being.
Caring for your loved one can be fulfilling and exhausting at the same time. Even respite for a few hours can give you the chance to run errands, work at your job, go to your own doctor appointments or visit with friends.

Do you feel a twinge of guilt dropping your loved one off at Adult Day Service? Well let’s look at this as a welcome change of pace for your loved one to attend our “Activity Center” to see their friends who may have similar cognitive or physical disabilities. Respite care helps avoid isolation for both of you. Without respite breaks, caregiving can be stressful and lead to resentment and depression. You are already dealing with stressful health care issues, financial challenges and over all changes to the life you once were used to and now the 24/7 caregiving adds to the stress. It’s exhausting!

At Helping Hands Respite Care, a nurse is scheduled Monday through Friday which helps the families we serve feel more at ease. We monitor participants blood pressure, pulse, weight and the PO2 which checks their level of oxygen. This is done using a painless clip on their finger. Everyone is monitored monthly and more if needed. The objective is to monitor their health, trying to avoid most health issues to make it easier for you at home. Two way communication is key to achieving this.

All in all, here at Helping Hands Respite Care, we recognize the value of respite and our ability to provide comfort to the program participants as well as the families who receive our services.

10 Signs of Caregiver Stress

This list of 10 signs of caregiver stress comes to you from the Alzheimer Association.  At Helping Hands Respite Care we often see or experience these signs first hand. It is heartening to know that we provide the means for families to get temporary relief from the stress they feel because of their responsibilities as a caregiver.

If you experience any of these signs of stress on a regular basis, make time to talk to your doctor.

1. Denial about the disease and its effect on the person who has been diagnosed. “I know Mom is going to get better.”

2. Anger at the person with Alzheimer’s, anger that no cure exists, or anger that people don’t understand what’s happening. “If he asks me that one more time I’ll scream!”

3. Social withdrawal from friends and activities that once brought pleasure. “I don’t care about getting together with the neighbors anymore.”

4. Anxiety about the future. “What happens when he needs more care than I can provide?”

5. Depression that begins to break your spirit and affects your ability to cope. “I don’t care anymore.”

6. Exhaustion that makes it nearly impossible to complete necessary daily tasks. “I’m too tired for this.”

7. Sleeplessness caused by a never-ending list of concerns. “What if she wanders out of the house or falls and hurts herself?”

8. Irritability that leads to moodiness and triggers negative responses and actions. “Leave me alone!”

9. Lack of concentration that makes it difficult to perform familiar tasks. “I was so busy, I forgot we had an appointment.”

10. Health problems that begin to take a mental and physical toll. “I can’t remember the last time I felt good.”

To learn more about respite care and the Adult Day Services (ADS) program at Helping Hands Respite Care, contact Alison Sarkozy

Source: Alzheimer’s Association