Respite care can provide a much needed break for family caregivers and help avoid burnout. According to the AARP and NAC report, “Caregiving in the US 2020”, more than a third of family Caregivers rate their job as highly emotionally stressful, and nearly 1 in 5 reports a high level of physical strain.
We’ve all heard the phrase: “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”, yet making time for self care and respite is one of the hardest things for Caregivers to do. It’s important to remember that taking a break will only make you a better Caregiver, with more emotional and physical stamina to care for your loved one!
Here are a few options:
If you or someone you love is a Caregiver in need of respite and wants some more information about specific services or communities that will meet your needs, reach out to us! Sunways is a FREE service for Seniors and their Caregivers and we’re here to help!
Remember: “Self compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.” -Christopher Germer
Recently we were a guest on the well-known entrepreneur podcast, The Shrimp Tank! The podcast is a nationally syndicated podcast on iHeart RADIO and in their words, “Is where street smarts and book smarts collide.” They interview up-and-coming business owners to talk about their experience, lessons and how they’re making it happen!
To say we were grateful for the opportunity to be on the podcast is an understatement! Listening to podcasts to gain inspiration, insight and knowledge has made a HUGE impact on our entrepreneurial journey. When we’re both in the office, you’ll usually find a podcast of some sort playing in the background so we can be passively learning while going about our day. If you haven’t tried doing the same….you should!
The conversation with Micah and Mark from The Shrimp Tank focused on our background, but also our future…and to us, that’s the most exciting part. Here’s just a few of the take-aways that we cover:
We hope you take a listen to the whole interview and enjoy! Clink the link below to get the audio and video recording.
One of the hardest parts of being a family Caregiver is time management. There are just NEVER enough hours in the day! Most Caregivers are juggling multiple responsibilities and usually caring for multiple people, like maybe an aging parent and also a child at home. Add on a full time job, a spouse, personal projects and life in general, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by a growing To Do list.
Here are 10 tips to improve your time management skills, which in turn, will lower your stress levels!
1. Plan ahead
Many times we tell ourselves that we “don’t have time to plan”, when in actuality, we don’t have time NOT to plan! This could be organizing your calendar for the week on a Sunday, creating a meal plan for your trip to the grocery store, or even coordinating caregiver services for your loved one. Taking 15 minutes to “plan” will save your hours of confusion and frustration down the road.
2. Schedule “me time” first
Lets be honest, in a crunch, the FIRST thing to get kicked to the curb is self care and personal time. Remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup! When planning for your day or week, pencil in time for yourself to recharge and hold yourself to doing it.
3. Define roles and responsibilities
When working with others to care for an aging loved one, expectations need to be clear on roles and responsibilities so everyone is on the same page. If not, tasks will fall through the cracks, tempers flair and more time is spent scrambling and re-arranging schedules to fix the mix-up.
4. Make a list and write it down
Taking the information and tasks you need to do out of your head and onto a written list is a great way to make sure you’re being effective with your time, and allows you to create a gameplan instead of flying from one task to the next with no direction.
5. Prioritize your To Do list
Speaking of, once you have your list, PRIORITIZE IT! Not every task is equally important. Complete harder or more urgent tasks first to guarantee you feel good about what you accomplished that day.
6. Be strategic
Once you’ve prioritized your To Do list, be strategic about tackling it! What can you “double up” on? For example: maybe you can call your family member while you’re folding laundry. Another tip is to piggyback your errands. For example, if you have to go grocery shopping and deposit a check at the bank this week, plan to do both on the same trip out to avoid multiple trips!
Studies show that when there is clutter and confusion in our environment, our brain tends to act the same way. This impacts our ability to focus and slows down our productivity. Spending a few minutes to clear the kitchen table before sitting down to tackle your agenda will make a big difference on how quickly you get it done.
8. Accept Help
This is one of the HARDEST things for a family Caregiver to do and is one of the most important! Asking for help, and more importantly ACCEPTING IT will make a huge impact on your time management and stress levels. It takes a village!
9. Have a morning routine to set the tone
Studies show that people who have a focused morning routine are more productive and intentional throughout the rest of the day. Taking control of your mindset and “setting the tone” for the day is incredibly empowering. Try integrating a gratitude journal or some light stretching.
10.Avoid procrastination paralysis
This is a toughie. Procrastination is an easy habit to fall into, especially when it comes to tasks we don’t want to do! Avoid adding things to your To Do list by immediately just getting it done. For example, document and file your prescription receipts or doctor documents as soon as you get them, instead of “getting to it later”.
Guest Author: Alley Hathaway
Although much of a person’s life is spent planning, (planning for a wedding, for children, school, retirement) few will plan for their end-of-life care. While not all people will use hospice services in their lifetime, understanding the options available is of great importance. Hospice is associated with many myths, so here are the facts of hospice care, according to an employee of Tidewell Hospice.
A lot of the questions we get are based around qualifications, eligibility, insurance, and cost. I also hear a lot of questions about care and the team of caregivers.
A common misconception is that, with hospice, a patient receives less care than an individual not under care. When a patient signs on to service with Tidewell, a whole team of caregivers assist in the plan of care. Patients have access to a nurse whenever they need additional assistance with symptom management. CNAs, chaplains, social workers, physicians, case managers, and many other caregivers make up the interdisciplinary team. Interdisciplinary teams meet weekly to discuss patient needs and plans of care. On top of this, patients can choose to keep their primary care physician. Whether a patient is in a facility, at home, or in the hospital, continue to care for them.
As for who qualifies for hospice care: An individual must have a prognosis of six months or less, according to a doctor, if their admitting diagnosis follows its normal, natural progression. Of course, if someone were to come onto service and live beyond six months, Tidewell may still be able to provide care. Basically, the care team re-evaluates the patient’s eligibility and, if he or she still qualifies (meaning: if the patient still is in that “six-month” prognosis window), he or she will stay on service with hospice.
If a patient qualifies, the cost of care related to the admitting diagnosis is completely covered under insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid. In the case that someone is in need of our services and is uninsured, we have sliding scale fees and have, thanks to our Philanthropy Department (now the Tidewell Foundation), we are able to provide about $2 million in unreimbursed care every year. Tidewell Hospice is a not-for-profit hospice, and, because of this, we never turn patients away. If someone needs services, is hospice eligible, but cannot pay, Tidewell will still accept that patient. We put patients before anything else.
About the Author:
Alley Hathaway is the Community Relations Representative for Tidewell Hospice
Tidewell Hospice has served Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties for 40 years and is always looking for new ways to help their community.
Our health goals and meanings evolve as we age, so when we strip away all the myths and scary ideas of what hospice is, we can make truly informed decisions.
Being a family Caregiver, especially for an aging loved one, can be a taxing journey. It’s often a thankless job, and very few people really know what it entails…emotionally, physically, financially or mentally.
If you have a family Caregiver in your life who’s a family member or friend, there are some ways you can support them. Many times, the smallest gesture goes the furthest, so it’s not about spending a lot of money. Here are 5 easy ways you can offer support and love to a family Caregiver in your life TODAY:
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Elli is the President of Sunways and loves spending time outside with her family, and is passionate about cooking and holistic health.