02 Feb 2015

Family Caregivers Need Breaks: The Rockaway Care Center Respite Program

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-You deserve a break today, at McDonald’s.

-Give me a break, give me a break, break me off a piece of that KitKat bar!

-Calgon, take me away!

The above ’80s ad campaign slogans might still ring in your head whenever the topic of needing a break comes up. Everyone needs breaks. That’s why recess is integral to elementary schools, why companies must legally provide 15-30 minute break times every few hours, and why entertainment is such a huge industry. Since breaks are so desirable, advertising agencies capitalize on the theme, knowing that people might be more willing to buy a product if it promises a break. Hence, the above jingles continue to ring true, decades after they were created.

Breaks are especially important for family caregivers. You are the “unsung heroes”, as Huff Post accurately summarized in their 3-part report for last November’s Family Caregiver Month. You give up much of your own free time to take care of your loved ones. Oftentimes they are elderly, but not necessarily. You balance the schlepping to care providers, administering medicines, and listening to your loved ones’ woes with your own work, family, and interests. You are often pulled in many directions, but you’re admirably dedicated, so you keep plugging along.

Trouble is, you need to make sure you get breaks from the caretaking. It can take its toll not only on your time and your mental space, but also your spirit. By taking breaks, you give yourself the opportunity to revitalize, which in turn makes you a more effective care taker. If you don’t take breaks, chances are you might start to resent your role, or even get sick from it. Not fun. Not for you, and not for your loved one.

Enter Rockaway Care Center’s Respite (Short Stay) Program. When you’re in need of a vacation, a weekend get-away, or even just an overnight, we might have just the facilities to take care of your loved one while you take your well-deserved break. Offering private accommodation, and myriad medical services, Rockaway Care Center Respite Program serves as a full-scale care center.  Our in-house services include rehabilitation, IV therapy, wound care, ventilator care, infusion therapy. As a complement to the medical services, Respite Program participants can also take advantage of our social programming.

Many times, family caretakers resist taking their cared-for loved one to a care center. You might feel guilty, or your loved one might try to make you feel guilty. But guilt serves no purpose, and since Rockaway Care Center provides you peace of mind, your job is just to go ahead and take your break, in order that you can come back better off than you were before. (And to boot, Respite Program guests often appreciate the different environment and social contacts here at Rockaway Care Center.)

So, while you may or may not go for a hamburger, a chocolate bar, or a bubble bath as part of your break, you can choose to let go of your worries for your loved one while they stay at Rockaway Care Center during your time away.  To coin a different type of ad campaign, your loved one will be “in good hands” at the Rockaway Care Center Respite Program.


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