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

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Not to get off the subject, but want to remind you all if you need a good place to VENT about anything--like not being able to get away, nasty or difficult charges,( dear as they may be, or were at one time:), and selfish, cowardly Siblings--Please join us at the Grossed Out? Need to Vent? site. Life Saver!!!
It is so necessary to vent, and on this thread 2d6 wanted to know how often she should be able to get away and for how long--AND WE ARE VENTING!!!! omg. We all need a vacation, huh? Just reminding, with lots of LOVE:)
Hugs,
Christina
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djnorris I can relate to your situation... My husband and I care for my Mother who is almost 84. My Father passed away in July, not 2 weeks later Mom had a heart attack. She also has dementia and can be VERY difficult!!! We have a few friends who will help for short periods of time however it is always HARD to get away. Do you have an Area Agency on Aging in your community? They have a program to help caregivers! They can actually provide respite care for you and also pay for it. I would encourage you to check into this. I have a friend who uses this program for her Mother, and it is a VERY real blessing to her. take care and God Bless...
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I was struggling with this as well, my parents are in NH care, with one event after another! I am constanly on guard for another issue to show up but after the sudden decline of my parents over the past yr I KNOW I NEED TO TAKE A BREAK! I feel said about the health state of my parents but there's nothing more I can do right now.

So why do I feel "shame" to tell other's that dear hubby and I are taking an 8 day cruise? like another poster stated, my other family member run for the hills at the mere suggestion of filling in my shoes! They take vactions, I see their Face Book posts showing them at parties, parades, concerts just having a blast, well guess what, why shouldn't we enjoy life too! I'm packed for this cruise, Mom and Dad are in good care and I have my neices as my point of contacts. Their Mom, my only sibling...has disappeared from the radar screen.

For all of us, a break is in order especially those who are care givers at home. Our mental and physical health is what keeps us going and going.

Sorry for all that, guess I just needed to confirm and vent but I support time out!
Take care of yourself!
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I have learned to accept I am not going anywhere for a while. If you can, get away every other month for a long weekend. That's what we used to do, BC. We have not gotten away yet, but I think one or two date nights a week and Sunday morning brunch keeps me almost sane. Or it could be the mimosas.
My husband gets to travel for business, so at least he gets away.
My kids got me gift certificates for massage, facials, mani-pedicures, and movie tickets for Christmas, and gift card to my favorite restaurant. THINK Mini. It helps:)
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Djnorris, I'm so sorry. I'm not going to say "take care of yourself first" cuz I hate when people say that. Instead, I will say "get it all out, girlfriend!" Tomorrow is another day. The sun will shine, the birds will still sing, and yes you will get out of bed and live thru another day. Stay strong. My MIL used to have a sign near her desk at the family business, it read: A diamond is a chunk of coal that made good under pressure. Together, we are a jewelry box! take a deep breath and know that although we don't have a magic fix, here you are among friends that understand!
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My husband and I live with my 83 year old mother and she has lots of health problems, a very bad attitude, and dementia as well. We finally about six month's ago found a wonderful lady to come stay with mother when we need her and that is usually the way it is...when we need her, rarely a fun get away. Mother starts in with her making me feel bad as soon as I tell her the sitter is coming. And, when we get back, the rude comments to make me feel guilty for leaving her. It is pitiful the way she acts. The sitter charges $12.00 an hour, so we can't call on her too often.

In 3 and a half years living here, the real get away times, like overnight, is when my husband has to go for his cancer check ups at MD Anderson in Houston, TX. every six months. It is a stressful time, but at least we have a couple of nights to be gone from mother. This past time, we just got one night get-away. But, it was so nice to be away from mother.

But, getting it all arranged to be gone for a couple of nights is a so stressful, but when we pull out of the driveway, I tell myself, there is nothing else I can do and whatever happens at home with mother just has to happen, my husband needs me these couple of days more than mother needs me.

I tell you what...being a caregiver for my mother has been so stressful And, it's not getting better...it's getting worse because of her health and bad attitude and dementia.

Bless all of us caregivers!!
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I feel that if you have a stand-in caregiver, you should get some R & R and not wait until you are so stressed that you MUST go. I am looking into respite care for my father, but have not used that as of yet.
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As long as you can................
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If you can get help I say get away as often and as long as possible. My husband and daughter and I have had 2 1 wk long vacations in the last 4 yrs. That is absolutely NOT enough.
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"As often as you can swing it" is so true, Stldaddysgrl!! I left a post earlier but I'd like to add that people should be careful not to let themselves get into the trap of thinking, "I'm the only one in the world that can take care of Mom/Dad properly so I'll never get a break." Yes, we can do it better than anybody else because we care more than anybody else, but we also started out not knowing anything... at least I did. But there's a lot of good people that also care and can do what needs to be done. If something happened to you, somebody else would take over.
If I was taking care of someone else's mother, they would get the same dedicated care I give to my mother and I believe a lot of other caregivers would be the same way.
So I also say "get away as often as you can swing it." You'll be a better caregiver when you return.
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