How often should family caregivers take a vacation and for how long?

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I would use every opportunity to get away. The problem, for most folks in this forum, is in trying to find people who will fill in for you, that your parent will accept, and having the funds to pay for it.
I would encourage you to check with your local Area Agency on Aging... they should have funds to help. take care
I agree, as often as you can. But it has worked out that I can only get 10 days a year, when my retired sister will take Mom down to Florida with her. Otherwise the rest of my 9 brothers and sisters run for the hills:)
Lilliput~ Very well said. I agree! How I wish we can get away from it all at every opportunity that presents itself. But the reality is it's all wishful thinking for majority of the caregivers. That's why we rant and vent. It just shows the immensity of the stress & problem that caregiving imposes to those who, like it or not, have to fill in the shoes. I'm sure if this is a job opening, few will apply unless they'd be offer a very handsome pay. Truly getting old, and caring for old parents, is never easy & cheap.
My mother is under Hospice care (since Nov. 1) and Hospice will take her for 5 days, compliments of Medicare, (as long as they have space available at the Hospice facility) and I have to pay $175/day for any extra days, to give me a break. I think they will only do it once a year with Medicare paying. They also pay for the ambulance to transport her there and home. I'm in Michigan... maybe other states are different?
My local Area Agency on Aging was able to provide me with vouchers that were accapted by a vary good local nursing home which allowed me to leave mom with them for a full week of RESPITE CARE. It was the first break I got in 4 years and that was way too long. I hope to take full advantage of this generous and much-needed program as often as I can.

the director of the Alzhiemers Association recently refered to Alzhiemer Caregiving as a job that is too much for one person alone. He said something along the lines of "Superman couldn't do it"

So Please, Take all the vacations you can manage to whether you feel you need it or not.
My husband and I get to take maybe four days a year...because that is all we can afford. I agree that caregivers should take vacations as often as they can...being a family caregiver is very stressful!
Here we go again. I just can't believe how many threads I can relate to since joining the group a couple months ago. I think getting away is crucial for one's mental well-being. The problem is a) convincing our loved on that there is a need; b) convincing them that just because they have chosen to not go with us on vacation doesn't mean that we shouldn't be able to go; c) taking them down memory lane with the reminder that when they were our age, they took plenty of vacations; d) convincing them to allow an in-home service check up on them, help them a couple times a day (or even stay the entire time we are gone); e) finding an elder care site for them to stay at (and again convincing them to go); f) finding the monies to pay for everything. As for me, just let me get a couple overnight beach trips away each year and I would be happy.
I like a smaller time frame and more frequent for a get away. It's easier to plan for (say 3 or 4 days) and it gives a much needed break. I take it as often as possible. I can get family members and others to pitch in if it isn't for too long a period. You come back refreshed and ready to handle things, and can look forward to something coming up again in the near future. Even if it's only a two-day escape, it's very helpful! And the shorter period of time is easier on the person being cared for as well, because (if they are still in the realm of understanding) they can handle a shorter absence.
As often as you can swing it!!!

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