The Holiday Season is Here – A Great Time to Consider Respite Care


Respite Care is Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul

With the mild fall season we’ve had I hope you’re not surprised when I tell you that the holiday season has arrived bringing along with it expanded to-do lists, cooking, parties and much more.  For those of you who are caregivers – these can make for stressful times when juggling life’s every day priorities. As parents of young children, we look to a trusted sitter, friend or family member when we need to take a break.  It’s great to know you have someone you can trust when you need it.

The same fact can hold true when we find ourselves caring for an aging parent, a spouse, or loved one that has become ill requiring care to remain safe at home. Being a caregiver can be a rewarding experience, which may allow us to deepen bonds with our loved one. For the individual being cared for it allows for personalized attention in the comfort of home. At the same time, caregiving can be a difficult task where we might find ourselves feeling overwhelmed and becoming impatient.  That feeling can come when we’ve taken on too much without providing our own self with the care it needs. To be a successful caregiver it is essential that you maintain a healthy lifestyle, have a support network and take time for yourself. That is where respite care comes in. In short, respite care bridges the gap between caring for others and caring for our self. By definition, respite care is taking a break from something difficult; while caregiving isn’t always difficult it can have its challenging moments.

Respite care is something you as a caregiver decide how much you need.  The great thing about respite care is that it doesn’t necessarily need to follow a schedule unless YOU want it to, though it does need to be planned for in advance. It can be as little as an hour or two during the day or as much as (up to) 24-hours a day.  Do you have a family outing or event that just isn’t the right environment for your older loved one? Respite care can be arranged to ensure your loved one has a trained, compassionate caregiver with them providing the care they need while you enjoy some time away.

The holiday season is a great time to consider respite care when you’re a caregiver. Do you host a special family event in your home? ABC caregivers are available to help you at home by providing care while you prepare for your holiday celebration. Our caregivers are also available to help your loved one travel with you to family events.  Respite care is for however you choose to use it. Consider how you can use yours.

“Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted,
no solutions searched for.

– Maya Angelou

While there is no guarantee of a full day without any problems to confront, a refreshed soul can better respond to the challenges life brings. Respite exists to allow us to thrive as caregivers. Consider putting your respite plans in place.  For more information on respite care, contact ABC Home Healthcare at 978-281-1001 or online at

Jeannette Sheehan, MS, RN, CS, CCM, Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner is founder and owner of ABC Home Healthcare Professionals, located at 281R East Main Street in Gloucester serving all of Cape Ann, North Shore, Merrimack Valley, and Metro Boston.

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