We’ve all heard the flight attendants give the safety briefing before take-off: “In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure…. put the oxygen mask on your child or dependent adult first…” And so it goes with respite care. If your incapacitated because of caregiver burnout, what good can you be to the
persons that depend on you?
Caregiver burnout can manifest in many of the same ways that other excessive stress begins to show up in our lives:
- Uncontrolled, angry outbursts
- An outset of aches, pains, and generalized fatigue
- Over eating or loss of appetite
- A noticeable decrease in one’s satisfaction with life
- Disinterest in hobbies or social activities
- Feeling like you want to “run-away”
Take the time to research some of the options listed. Then plan some breaks, schedule time away for yourself. Nurture yourself so you can be the best caregiver you can possibly be.
Online Caregiver Support Groups
There has been a proliferation of online support groups, many are thinly disguised advertisements for national franchises or pay-for-referral farms. Stick with known big names. The national organization for whatever primary disease your caring for is a good place to start
Check with your local county office of Health and Human Resources. Volunteer services are usually available to people who qualify as low income
Adult Day Care
Usually for a modest fee, many private and government run facilities are available to drop your loved one off for a few hours with competent, screened, and trained professionals
IHSS (In-Home Support Services)
This is a program that requires MediCal certification and proof of low-income. The standards of care and pay for the caregivers is much lower than that found in private caregiver agencies so be careful and screen caregivers carefully.
Thanks to smart phones and the internet, you can now buy systems that you can install quickly and easily in a home. The while you’re away, you can monitor the rooms in the house by video or motion sensors. You are alerted immediately if anything unusual is going on. Here are some of the premier vendors:
Independent Paid Caregivers
Be very careful with this option. Even if it’s a good friend from church, check the state’s Home Care Aide Registry to make sure they have a clean background:
Start with an internet search. Any legitimate agency will proudly be displaying their services on the web. Here you can easily check their reviews, their story, their staff, and mission statement. You can also easily check their competitors around them. If they are cutting corners here, you can be sure they are barely meeting minimum standards of care as well.