ARTICLES / General / Respite
Start making your list of those
people you know you can count on to pitch in and support
your respite program this summer. Let them in on your
plan and see what they will commit to doing, it can be
anything from cooking dinner one day a week to watching
your loved one while you go to the park. Youíll be
surprised at how little favors add up and how willing
people are to help once you ask.
Remember, respite does not have to be found outside of
the home or take the entire day. Having someone watch
your loved one for a few hours while you luxuriate in a
long hot bubble bath counts, too.
Accept the help others offer. Suggest specific things
they can do for you and your loved one. This is rule #1
for a reason. No one is a Super Hero. Don't feel like
you're the only one that can take dad to the doctor or
your wife to her physical therapist. REACH OUT and ask
another family member -- or close family friend -- to
assist you occasionally so you have time to yourself.
Trust in their willingness to help. Many times they do
not know how to reach out and help unless you are able
to communicate your needs.
Ask for and accept favors such as; a friend staying with
your loved one while you are able to get out of the
house for a while, a dinner being cooked for you and
your loved one once a week, an offer to go to the
supermarket or drugstore in your place. Respite can be
achieved on a daily basis with the smallest of
Know your limits! If you wear yourself out caring for
your loved one, who will step in to care for the both of
you? Remember, caring for yourself is not selfish, itís
the greatest gift you can give your loved one.