Taking time off.
The experts on this site say it over and over again. You have to take time for yourself. People have been telling me. I was like oh please, everytime I turned around to try to take time off stuff came up. Finally, today bum foot and all I was like "mom's attendant is here, then her aides are here then the chaplain from Hospice are all coming today. I'm going." I spent two hours in the movie theater watching a movie for the first time in a year. It was also probably the first time since October when my mom chose Hospice I've actually taken a day off. People had been telling me "Oh you should take some time off." Usually my time off involves running various errands and rushing through before the attendants leave. But today, I did it, I took time for myself. I thought I would feel guilty, I thought I would be checking my phone every 5 seconds. i didn't (okay I checked my phone one time in the bathroom when I ducked out of the theater.) Now I think 1) Why didn't I do this sooner and 2) Is there one day a week I could reasonably use not to run errands but take a little time out? People kept telling me I should take time out, the experts tell you. As a caregiver however, it's almost like a switch has to go on in your head. It has to be your idea. You're the one that keeps track of the schedule, you're the one who is there day after day for months on end. In the end it doesn't matter how many people tell you to do it or how good it is for you to do it. It has to be your idea. You have to believe 1) You deserve it and 2) Things will be okay without you for an hour or two and 3) If they're not people will call you and tell you something's up. My only advice is make sure someone stays with the person you're caring for. One of their friends, a neighbor, whoever. Most of the time it doesn't require someone skilled just someone for the person to talk to. You get tired of talking to the patient day in and day out guess what they get tired of talking to the same person too especially if they're used to being social. My mom and I were always off doing something. My going out expands both of our worlds beyond the hospital bed. Try it.