Wanting a bit more respite but feel I have to give a reason

@suspenseful (40316)
Canada
July 18, 2010 12:55pm CST
I have two three to four hours a week of respite (my husband has als) during which I do the non grocery shopping, also take money to the bank, or just enjoy going with my friend to the park. And I felt that was all the respite i was to be allowed. Now the trouble is is that the first Monday of each month there is a discount for seniors at one of our stores, and at the drugstore, there are two Thursdays a month that there is a sale for seniors. I was talking to the homeworker who comes in every am to help get my husband up and she says "You have to take advantage of sales." Now the question is, should there be an important reasons for wanting respite, is just wanting to do a little extra shopping too trite? So here I am feeling a little guilty about asking even though I would lose a bit more weight walking to the Mall that is three quarters a mile away from our house. I was wondering if any other caregiver has the same problem?
6 people like this
8 responses
@phacat (20)
• United States
21 Jul 10
As a caregiver myself sometimes I have the same dilemma. I spoke with someone about it and got some good advice. We all need a break every once in a while. If it happens to be an unscheduled one, as long as it isn't harming the health of the one cared for, we need to go for it if it is at all possible. We should never feel quilty about taking a respite. We need to take care of ourselves also. Part of that is having time to "re-fuel". Re-fueling isn't just going to sleep at night. It's not just eating and exercising. It's also having time to do the things that we would like to do so we aren't resentful when we do have to spend time caregiving. It's taking care of ourselves so we can take care of others.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
22 Jul 10
I am on the computer to mylot a bit of the time -but i have to be able to get up and see to my husband. I also find that I am gaining the weight back I lost because I have not had time to take a nice long walk. And when I am tense I eat - and the wrong things at that. So I really need this extra time out. We do get out, but most of it is when we go grocery shopping and when we have to go to the doctor. I could use those extra hours.
1 person likes this
@phacat (20)
• United States
22 Jul 10
I know what you mean about those "extra hours." Going to the store and going to the doctor are things that have to be done. You need time to relax, to do things you enjoy, like a hobby. There are caregiving support groups that can give you a lot of tips. Some also have yearly outings just for caregivers.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
23 Jul 10
I wish I could relax. Even now, I have to make some extra money because of a check that had not arrived from the income tax people yet and a bill we have to pay. I did look into the caregiving support groups and found some of the suggestions helpful. I am not into a yearly outing but just a few hours away that has nothing to do with food and essential buying. Something like taking advantage of sales.
1 person likes this
@funnysis (2619)
• United States
19 Jul 10
I feel it would be in your best interest to take advantage of the sales as it will save you some money plus give you an extra break.I lost my mother to als and I know it is not easy to go through it.You need to take several breaks so you don't burn yourself out.I wish you all the luck in the world,and hope that you have a wonderful day.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
19 Jul 10
I will start with the first Monday - but it will be hard to get someone as there are not many who are willing to look after my husband during the day. With evenings it is easier, but do not like to shop in the evenings. I do like the sales, and since I shop at Zellers a lot, and I could use that extra 15 percent.
1 person likes this
@funnysis (2619)
• United States
20 Jul 10
I am glad to hear that you are going to take advantage of the sales,it will be good for you to get out and enjoy your shopping.I wish you luck in finding someone to sit with your husband hopefully it will not be to hard to find someone.Good Luck and have a great day.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
23 Jul 10
It will not be easy. Most of the respite workers do not work in the afternoon. I have a friend who does respite and she would help, but her work is in another part of the city. So it is not as easy as one thinks. I know when I asked the first time, there was this problem in that most of them worked after four and few between the hours of nine and four.
1 person likes this
@meme0907 (3481)
• United States
21 Jul 10
I understand you feeling guilty but i don't think there's anything wrong w/ you wanting to do a little extra shopping & i think your husband would approve,he would want you to get out excercise build up your endorphines & feel good. |:)
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
22 Jul 10
I wish I knew what other caregivers do? I mean I have someone coming in the morning to dress my husband and someone putting him to bed at night, and my friend comes to give him his tube feeding. (She used to be a nurse) but I am usually doing the washing or cleaning up. And if I go for a walk, it is just to pick something up from the closest store and rush right back again, or to water the plants, put out the garbage. It is just that I want to do things outside of the house, go for a walk, look around the stores for something we need. Seven hours a week seems not enough, but I do wonder if I am being too greedy.
2 people like this
@meme0907 (3481)
• United States
28 Jul 10
don't worry yourself about that-i bet your husband would want it for you.
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@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
28 Jul 10
I would not mind. I have to find out what is the best time. I think I will start very slow, one extra few hours a month and then go from there.
2 people like this
• United States
18 Jul 10
When I cared for my mother during cancer (pancreatic), I learned from Cancer Treatment Centers of America that many caregivers get sick because they do not take a break from caring for a loved one. When we don't get an adequate rest from any responsibility, we become cranky, tired, and it's just plain hard to think. It actually does more harm to the person you are caring for than if you did get a break. So, the next time you feel guilty about taking a break, don't try to figure out if it is a productive break. Just remember that you will return to the person you are caring for in a better frame of mind and a happier person overall. That not only benefits you but makes you a better caregiver. None of this is easy, but I guess life is all about balance no matter what.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
18 Jul 10
That is good because the other day I was watering the plant that was at the top of the steps and was so tired, that I fell down. Luckily, no damage - hard skull -, but if I had had an extra break, I could had been more careful. So I will call the home care tomorrow and try to get a break for the first Monday of each month. I also have found that I have been gaining the weight back that I lost (looked in the mirror at church, almost had a heart attack() so I really need that extra walk.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jul 10
Whether you are a caregiver or not, I find that it is just plain good for me to rest at least once a week. Soooooo, I have declared every Saturday my Butt day, and the family has to figure out things for themselves on that day. I cannot tell you how much I look forward to the rest. Of course, I can half way get away with this because the kids are grown. If I must do something, I do, but I do like to try to spend some time in my easy chair either sleeping, reading, or playing a game of some sort. I am one of the few in my generation that has taken to Nintendo DS and have some favorite games that I like to play on it. Stress and no rest will put weight on faster than you can imagine.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
21 Jul 10
One day a week is not enough for me. I have to take a walk every day for at least an hour, but cannot do that, so what I do now is to take seven hours a week. The trouble now is that because of an expense, I cannot take much time out. We do have homeworkers who come in the am and the eve to get my husband up and put him to bed, but now I have the housework to do in the am - and if my friends decide to take over and do it for me, well last time the wooden utensils wound up in the dishwasher and one of them put my measuring cups where the regular serving bowls were. And I am not a tall person. I do want to look for another few hours a month. That would get me out of the house. for just a little more time.
1 person likes this
• Australia
29 Jul 10
If there is more to gain from you having extra respite, then it has to be a positive thing. Losing weight (for health reasons) and saving money are two very definite positive benefits to extra respite. Another would be, you being out of the house more and having time just for you so that you don't feel as though your world is shrinking (happens with situations such as this). I say you should go for the extra respite
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
30 Jul 10
We are getting extra help, but now my husband cannot be left alone. I am on the computer right now (obvious) but we have a double closet and I am in the next room and can see him from here. (And stupid me, wonders why didn't I think of it next?
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84147)
• Shingle Springs, California
19 Jul 10
You can't take care of somebody else if you don't take care of yourself. I'm sure you could use more respite than what you're getting. If it's available, I say go for it.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
19 Jul 10
I hope to get a little more. It would make it easier for me to get more rest. Now on Monday I am all right, but by the time the weekend rolls around, I get very tired and I am not that careful. So an extra few hours would do me some good. The trouble is that the home care respite workers would rather come in the evening and I would want an extra afternoon off.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
19 Jul 10
I haven't been in your position yet, thank God, but I know that it is common for caregivers to feel guilty about wanting some time to themselves. It's not reasonable but understandable, especially when you really love the person you're taking care of. Look at it this way--if you don't take care of yourself you'll be of very little use to him. Not having enough time for yourself can cause you to snap at him or feel resentful. Don't feel bad for wanting some time for yourself. A few hours a week is not enough for you or for anyone. Try to find some more time to enjoy yourself with friends or just take a walk at the mall. Your husband will benefit, as will you.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
19 Jul 10
I have noticed that I have been looking older than I did before. I found that I am putting back the weight that i have lost. So even taking an extra walk would help me, even if it is just for an extra day a month. And since the Mall is far enough way, it would give a good stretch of my legs and take some weight off my middle.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (99345)
• United States
18 Jul 10
Except for when you have respite care you are on call 24/7. You really could use an hour or two every day, and it will help you with all the obligations you have. If you are eligible for more care, please get it. It will help you feel better physically and will in the long run benefit you both.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
20 Jul 10
I wss thinking of that. I already get seven hours a week and I spend that mainly at going to the stores and getting supplies like cleansers, kitchenware, etc. so I really do not get out to enjoying myself. I also do not like to take that much time off that is right now. I would like to go for a walk and lose some weight, but I have no idea what time I should ask for. Even that four hours I want off on the first Monday of the month will be used to go to the store and buy things that we need.
1 person likes this