Need a breather?

Consider overnight respite for a brief getaway from your caregiving duties

shutterstock_399116137

Life as a caregiver can be exhausting. You’re scheduling and driving to appointments, helping with personal care, picking up medications, keeping on top of household chores and much more.

It all adds up.

According to the U.S. Office of Women’s Health, the high levels of stress caregivers experience can increase their risk for developing chronic health problems, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis.

That’s why it’s so important for caregivers to schedule time for themselves, so they can rest and rejuvenate.

Many times, all a caregiver needs is a morning or an afternoon off. But sometimes caregivers may require a longer period of time — an entire day or even a weekend — away.

One such way to get a break from the demands of 24/7 caregiving is for your loved one to stay a night or two in a facility-based overnight respite program.

Choosing a program

Many organizations offer overnight respite services, including adult daycare centers, adult foster-care homes, assisted living facilities and other care centers.

Call the Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433 or see mnaging.org/advisor/SLL for a list of programs in your area.

Before you choose a program, be sure to visit the physical site and speak with staff members in person. If possible, bring the person you’re caring for along.

If it doesn’t feel like a good fit for either of you, keep looking. Take your time and find a place that both of you feel comfortable with for overnight care.

Trusting someone else to care for your loved one can be difficult, especially if you’ve never done it before.

That’s why — for your first getaway — you might consider travelling to a location nearby for greater peace of mind. Then, if something does come up, you’ll be able to return fairly quickly.

Fortunately, Minnesota is a beautiful state, full of gorgeous scenery, rich history, interesting attractions and fascinating communities.

Here are some special spots outside of the Twin Cities to consider:

Explore Minnesota is another top resource at exploreminnesota.com.

No matter where you end up, plan a trip that will help you return to caregiving well rested. With a refreshed heart and spirit, you’ll be able to care for your loved one with greater joy and a renewed sense of purpose.


Sam Patet is a writing specialist with Lyngblomsten, a Christian nonprofit organization that provides health care, housing and community resources to older adults in the Twin Cities. Lyngblomsten is a member of the Metropolitan Caregiver Service Collaborative. Learn more at lyngblomsten.org and caregivercollaborative.org.