Sometimes, being away from a person brings you closer to them. It might sound nonsensical, but with respite care, it does make sense.
Caring for aged loved ones brings different types of burden—tight budgets, strained relationships, and comorbidities. Sometimes, solutions involve escapism that progresses to neglect quickly. This happens when untrained family caregivers become stressed out. If they have no one to lean on, a distressed caregiver will look for external sources for that missing emotional validation.
Services like respite care can solve this problem.
Ending your identity crisis
When you transition from the adult child role to the parent role, it can be confusing. Identity crises can happen. New responsibilities and roles are now in your hands. The parent who used to care for you is now the one who needs care. It’s overwhelming if you look up to your aging parents for support.
Even if you’re not compelled to do the home health services, overseeing your parents’ wellness can still be stressful. Ending your identity crisis can be a valuable start in coping with that. If you can learn how to accept the new role you have, you can deal with the pains of caring for a loved one. As adult children, you can end your identity crises by taking time off to reflect.
A time to reflect – Differentiating your relationships
Ending your identity crisis involves separating the past and the present. Your aged parents are now incapable of giving the emotional validation and support unlike before. It’s important to take note they are still the same person, but not quite.
Here are some helpful things to reflect about:
- Your memories with them – This helps you remember who they were before they got ill.
- Everybody ages – You will age someday, too. Realizing this will help you empathize with your parents easier.
- There are rooms for new memories – Your new relationship with your parents doesn’t have to be bland. You can still make new memories by doing fun, stimulating activities even if they’re disabled.
Getting Respite Care
As the primary caregiver, you can take some time off by getting respite services. A respite care takes your aged parent temporarily to give you a break. This is also a good trial method if you want to send your aging parent to an aged care facility. If your parent goes along with nursing home, you can start applying for their eligibility to receive government subsidized services.
Meanwhile, there are also inhome respite services. These are mostly preferred by those who seek temporary caregivers because of a busy schedule. In-home respite allows adult children to still see their parents but relieves them of the burden of caring responsibilities. In-home respite also provides grooming services and supervision in your absence.
Space for everyone
Your parents also need space. However, don’t leave them completely. A few hours of being away—a walk in the park or mall—that will do. This will help you reorganize your thoughts and feelings. You can do activities like people-watching. While at it, you may experience sonder—the realization that other people also have their own universes, completely different from yours but very similar. Things like that make you feel that you are not completely alone.
Joining a community
Just because you need to be alone, doesn’t mean you have to endure things by yourself. Joining a community comprised of other family caregivers and even aged parents helps you cope. A community exists for you to share experiences and valuable information about aged care. Also, a community is also a grapevine for the latest news about aged care policies.
Aging will never be easy. It impacts everyone from families to a whole nation. Never forget to take a step back for a clearer view when things get murky.