Christmas; it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Respite care is a way to help everyone relax and enjoy the holiday season. Caring for loved ones is very rewarding but it can be very demanding. During the Christmas period, it is important that as a carer, you should take some well-earned time to look after your own health and wellbeing, which is where respite care steps in.
Whether it is a few hours you need respite care for to go out food shopping or to put up the Christmas decorations or a few days that you want to spend mingling and relaxing with the rest of your family and friends, respite care is there to cover you.
Challenges of caring for someone at Christmas
It can be difficult to keep on track of care routines during Christmas and you should be careful not to interrupt your loved one’s habits, especially if they have dementia. Below are some of the challenges you may face over the Christmas period if you have a loved one in your family that requires care.
If you care for a loved one then it can be difficult to juggle between your usual care routine and organising a family get together for Christmas. Having sole responsibility for your loved one may mean that you have to stay at home and can’t leave unless your loved one is cared for by somebody else. This is where a respite carer can step in and take care of your loved one why you visit other family members and friends.
If your loved one is cared for in a care home, they may want to come home for Christmas, but you are unable to take care of them whilst they are at home. A respite carer may be able to take care of your loved one whilst they spend quality time with you and their family and friends.
If you already employ a professional carer to look after your loved one, you might find that they are wanting to take time off over the Christmas period to spend with their own family and friends. They are more than entitled to take time off as this will help reduce caregiver burnout and help their wellbeing. During this time that your loved one’s usual caregiver is away, a respite carer can step in and take over all of the usual activities and tasks that are done on a day-to-day basis.
How a respite carer can help
Christmas is all about relaxing and having fun with your family and friends but having to face organising and caring for your loved one can be stressful. Respite care can help with these difficulties around the festive period by providing you with a sense of relief.
Respite care can help support you and your loved one by:
- Helping to take care of day-to-day responsibilities with your loved one, giving you an extra pair of hands through the festive period. This gives you more time to spread across you and your family.
- If you are the primary carer for your loved one, respite care will allow you to have a break and relieve some stress. Working as a caregiver for too long without having a break could lead you to burnout, putting you at risk for both physical and mental health issues.
- A respite carer can create a comfortable environment for your loved ones and keep them from getting stressed. Sticking to a routine and tending to their needs is their top priority.