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
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 kindnesses.
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.
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