March

I’m Sorry

If you follow this website, you may have noticed that I’m late putting in the March entry. I’ve been feeling guilty about that for 3 weeks now. I’m also away on holiday. Familiar? Feeling guilty while on holiday? How often do we find ourselves saying “I’m sorry.” to others?
  • "I’m sorry this article is late.”
  • “I’m sorry. I might not get there - problem with my Mom - will stop by later if I can.”
  • “I’m so sorry, I forgot to reply to this email!”
I’m sorry that I’m going to keep being sorry. Thank heavens for the forgiveness of friends.

One advantage of traveling can be finding wonderful resources in other provinces. Please visit artfulCARE a great site for all caregivers.
 

Topic of the Month

Respite or How to rest in spite of yourself

When we run out of patience and snap at those we care for we feel guilty. Yet the idea of taking a break from our caregiving responsibilities makes us feel guilty too. We need respite - sometimes we need to rest from our obligations in spite of ourselves.
Those we care for need us to be strong. Let's face it; we are not lovely to be with when we have reached the end of the rope. Taking time for ourselves is not a selfish act, it is essential to keeping our strength and sanity.
We are told that to avoid stress we need exercise, sleep and a healthy diet. We also need respite. What do you need to reduce your stress? Do you need time alone in your own home? Do you need a quiet hour in a coffee shop? Do you need a holiday? What works?
True confessions - I once told everyone but my son and my neighbour that I was away on holiday for a week. Well, I was on holiday, just not out of town.  I didn't need to get away; I needed to be home alone! I needed to clean my own house, to catch up on my own chores and to sleep in. It was heaven.
 
 Make use of the available resources (see article below). My mom is now in a personal care home but I still needed "eyes on the ground" when I was on vacation. I hired a friend to visit and when she wasn't available I hired a private company who reported to my son. When I came home at the end of the month, I was rested and my mom was fine.  In fact, she was glowing (the private company sent a lovely young man to visit with her). When I'm 90, please hire a nice young man to come and have tea with me!

Respite Resources 

Exploring options can be a good task to delegate to other family members.

  • The Manitoba Home Care Program -  a variety of short term and longer term respite options. Note: Don't delay introducing some home care help. It will be much easier to add more when you need respite if the person you care for is accustomed to some care.
  • Rupert's Land Caregiver Services - The only non-profit organization supporting caregivers of persons aged 55 or older living at home within the City of Winnipeg.
  • Seniors Resource Network of Manitoba - links to seniors resource councils, seniors centres and seniors services across the province.
  • PRIME - for seniors with multiple health problems. Participants attend up to five times a week, depending on their need, with transportation being provided by the program.
  • Family and Friends - Don't hesitate to ask someone to help.
  • Private Care - an option when provincial home care isn't suitable or available. A good choice if you need to support a loved one in the hospital or in a personal care home while you are out-of-town.
  • Retirement Residences - Short term stays are available at some retirement residences. A month stay in a private apartment with meals, housekeeping, laundry, transportation and recreation is an option to be considered. Home care is also available.

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