Although there are many options for obtaining respite support for carers to take a break, many are reluctant to do so.
Concerns are normal but they need to be balanced against the risk that you will burn out.
Regular breaks can give carers time to re-energise, enjoy different activities, and concentrate on other relationships.
‘Nobody else can provide the care I do’
You may be anxious about leaving the person you care for with other people or worry that they will not be cared for properly.
Remember that close family members are capable as well, and respite providers employ trained and skilled staff, and operate under strict regulations and standards.
‘People will think I can’t cope’
You may feel that family members or friends will disapprove or decide you can’t cope anymore.
Discuss your need for a break with your family. Be open to their concerns but make it clear why respite will help you.
‘I just don’t have time to organise anything’
Perhaps you don’t know what services are available in your area or how to go about organising a break. You may feel it’s not worth the disruption or that you don’t have the time and energy to bother.
Your local Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre can help you to find out about respite options in your area and give you advice and support on planning and managing emotional issues.
Convincing the person you care for
The person you care for may be anxious or reluctant to be looked after by strangers. This may particularly be the case for cultural reasons, or if English is not their first language, if they find it difficult to communicate their needs, or if they don’t cope well with change.
Remember that respite can also be a break for the person you are supporting. It can give them the opportunity to meet new people and to experience a new environment and change of routine.
If the person you care for is anxious
Let them express their concerns and fears, but try to be firm, clear, and consistent about why you are considering respite. Reassure them. Show them you feel positive about the break and that you think it will be good for both of you.
If the person you care for doesn’t like to be left
Make sure they understand you are not abandoning them. Be clear about when the respite will finish and reassure them that this is only a temporary break for both of you.
For more information
Source: Carers NSW