Taking a break
Taking a break from caring is a realistic and important thing to do.
It offers carers a chance to restore their energy and find time for important things like:
- catching up with friends
- having a rest
- going out
- attending to business
- taking a holiday.
Breaks are also important for the person you care for. It gives them an opportunity to socialise, meet other people and have some independence. It also helps them get used to other people providing support and caring for them.
What stops carers from taking a break?
There may be many reasons why carers don’t take a regular break.
Sometimes carers forget that it is just as important to look after themselves so that they can better cope with the demands of caring.
Carers may not know what help is available to them, or how to get help organising a break, or they may even feel that they don’t deserve or need a break.
Or the carer may want a break, but the person being cared for doesn’t. This can make carers feel guilty about leaving the person they are caring for.
Who can help?
Other family members and friends may be happy to help out by giving you a break from caring. Often it’s just a matter of asking.
There are many organisations that will help you take a break. These are usually called respite services.
The NSW and Australian governments fund a number of respite programs that give carers regular, occasional and emergency breaks.
Read more about getting respite. It might be very beneficial for both you and the person you are caring for.