Need a Break? Here’s Some Ideas to Make it Easier

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Finding time to take a break from being a caregiver can be the key to doing the job well and being able to do it for the long-term. Though breaks are needed, some caregivers find it difficult to find ways to take them. After all, if you’re not there to take care of your older family member, who will? In addition to the practical matters of taking a break, your own emotions may be an obstacle to taking some time off. Some caregivers feel guilty about wanting to take time for themselves because they think it’s selfish to be concerned about their own needs when their aging relative is ill. If you can’t see a way to take a break from being a caregiver, below are some ideas that might make it easier.

Don’t Ask for Permission

Don’t feel like you need your aging relative’s permission to take a break. The senior is not your boss. You’re there as a volunteer. Some older adults don’t feel comfortable lettering someone else take care of them, especially if you need to hire a professional caregiver they see as a stranger. However, if you need a break, you should do whatever it takes to get one.

Line Up Help Before You Need a Break

It can be helpful to find someone to take over caregiver duties before you need to take a break. That way, you can talk to the older adult about it ahead of time, which can help them to accept someone else helping.

Build a Support Network

Even a short break can be revitalizing. Talk to friends and family members about their willingness to help with some caregiver tasks. Some people may be comfortable spending a few hours with the older adult while you get away for awhile.

Plan Your Break

This may sound strange given that being a caregiver requires a lot of planning and that could be one of the things you need a break from. However, it’s not a bad idea to plan how you’re going to spend your time. That way you can do things that build you up without scheduling so much that you tire yourself out.

Check In During the Break

There’s nothing wrong with checking on your aging relative during your break if it makes you feel better. Calling the fill-in caregiver or talking to the senior can reassure you that they are getting the care they need while you are away. This can let you relax and enjoy your break even more.


If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Dulles, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.