Caregivers need vacations, too!


Psychologists often describe stress as holding a glass of water. If you hold the glass for five seconds, you barely feel it. Five minutes, you may feel a strain. Five hours, it begins to really hurt, and after five days, you are about to go out of your mind. The answer is simple – put the glass down every so often.

You’ll feel much better if you put your obligations down for a while and get away from it all.

A study by Project: Time Off, outlined the reasons why only 45% of Americans are taking the full amount of vacation time they are entitled to.

If you are juggling a job as well as looking after an elderly relative, you may be one of the 55% who is not getting the amount of break they need. This can be disastrous to your peace of mind, and the wellbeing of your relative.

They don’t deserve a burnt-out caregiver any more than you deserve to be one. Caring is super rewarding, but it’s not the most glamorous job, so a little pampering at the spa or a bask in the sunshine will boost your self-esteem and make you feel worthy again.

You can check out good articles about how to deal with caregiver stress and tips to reduce it. The common signs of caregiver stress are as follows: grief and depression, sadness and hopelessness, anger, troubled sleep and poor and inconsistent eating habits. If you are feeling the effects of the above, make sure you enlist extra help. To look after someone else, you need to keep yourself well.

Before you start expressing the below excuses, take a deep breath and realize that although you may be doing one of the most important jobs on the planet, your life is to be lived and it should not be bringing you despair. Here are answers to your common excuses.

‘I don’t want to return to a mountain of work!’

37% of Americans feel like if they leave for a few weeks, then they will be catching up and exhausting themselves. Therefore, assign someone to take over your duties. It’s that simple!

‘No-one else can do my job.’

It’s true that no-one can emulate the bond you have with your relative, but you’ll find that the basics are easily covered by a home care visitor, and your parent will probably be glad of a fresh face to talk to. As lovely as you are, elderly people get lonely and crave social interaction. New people are interesting and break up the monotony that retirement can bring.

‘I cannot afford a vacation right now.’

If you’re struggling a little financially, that doesn’t mean you can’t take some time off. In an ideal world, we’d all fly off to Tuscany for $10, but there are some wonderful places you can go for less than you may think. Check out home share sites such as Airbnb, which advertise homes to rent on a short-term, affordable basis.

‘I don’t feel supported by my boss to take a vacation.’

Lastly, people don’t feel supported by their bosses when they mention taking a break. Luckily for you, your relative will be championing you to have some fun and bring them back a fridge magnet.

You don’t have to go around the world in 80 days, but you’ll be surprised to see the difference a few days off will make to your overall wellbeing.


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