My father and I are a team. Dad is at an age where he no longer should live by himself. I would not dream of him living anywhere else but with me. I am blessed to wake up every day and know that he is safe. I have just spent quite possibly the four most important days of my life far away from my Dad. As I embark on a new career for the second half of my life, my Dad is back home cheering me on.
I departed four days ago, and as I walked through the airport on my way out of town I felt like a part of me was missing. As a caregiver, your connection to your loved one is always there. You also feel that overwhelming need to be by yourself for just a little while. Then I remind myself that being with someone else for a while will be good for Dad too. The respite goes both ways. I am blessed to have a family that understands this need and go out of their way to be there for us. My sister is always there to come over and stay with Dad when I am out of town. On the few occasions when my sister and I both need to go out of town, my brother and sister-in-law have flown to stay with him.
I realize that my family is an exception and not the rule. As a caregiver, it is so important that we continue to live our lives and find ways to do so. Having a plan for travel, for relaxation, and for rejuvenation in place is essential. If you are not blessed with a family such as mine, then is time to create a relationship with a good non-medical home care company that can be there when you need them. Many of these companies are available for just a few hours at a time, at a very reasonable rate.