Caregiving for a disabled, ill or elderly family member can be a demanding job and it is hard to do it all alone. By using respite care services, carers are able to take the time they need to relax, unwind and focus on themselves.
Respite care is a temporary care service that allows the primary caregiver to take a break from the demands of caregiving every day. Respite care can happen in the individual’s home, or at residential or nursing facilities. By using respite care services, it can prevent carers from burning out, becoming exhausted and socially isolating themselves from their other family and friends.
There are a range of activities carers can do in their breaks whilst respite care is in place. Below are some activities carers can do in their spare time:
Going to the spa is a very relaxing activity to do. This can ease stress and tension from caring for their loved ones. When caring for a family member, carers can often feel like they are losing their identity, so a spa break is a great place to unwind and find themselves.
Although rewarding, it can get tiring and a spa day is definitely warranted. Respite care can be used occasionally to cover this activity or on a scheduled basis, whichever suits the carer!
Going out for meals and drinks is an underrated activity and it is a great way for a carer to mingle with their friends and family. This could be scheduled once a month or whenever it is arranged. This encourages carers to socialise outside of their normal bubble and try out some good food! Socialising with other people can be very impactful and improve mental health, so it is a great activity to do.
Holidays and Travelling
Holidays with family or friends can be a great activity to do when respite care is available. Whether it is a short weekend break somewhere in the countryside or a week away in Italy, travelling is always great, and a respite carer will be there to step in for the duration of a holiday break. Seeing the world is not something that has to be off-limits to carers!
Staying active is something everyone should do for both their mental health and their physical health. By using respite care once a week for a few hours, allows carers to go out and do their preferred choice of exercise, whether it’s a long walk on their own to clear their head or a gym session with their friend, any regular exercise is great and can be enjoyed without worrying about a loved one.
Studying and Further Education
Sometimes those who care for their family and friends are also in education. Having time off to focus on education is important, whether it is weekly or monthly, respite care can help to free up time for carers without them feeling guilty.