If you have a disabled child and you’re caring for their needs around the clock, having a little time to yourself can be a real sanity-saver. Respite care does more than give you a break; it can also improve your marriage and other relationships. Sometimes couples just need to have a date night, but that can be incredibly difficult when your child is disabled.
There are several ways you may be able to get respite care. It may be available through:
- A state respite coalition
- Private respite programs in your area
- Non-profit organizations
- Faith-based communities
Even though it may feel like it’s better for your child to be with you at all times, the truth is it may be better for everyone if you get a break once in a while.
Why You Should Give Respite Care a Try
Parents can more easily become overwhelmed with the demands placed on them by parenting a child with a disability. This can lead to increased rates of divorce, distancing from your friendships, unhealthy coping mechanisms, and the loss of your own identity.
According to Idaho Cerebral Palsy Lawyer, caring for a child with special needs can be stressful. You may have changed everything in your life to make sure your child’s needs are met, from giving up your job to altering your home and car.
You may also be afraid to leave your child with someone else. I had that fear when I first started looking into care for my son. The respite caregiver we ended up finding was a wonderful person who also happened to be a preschool teacher who wanted to make a little money on the side. The arrangement couldn’t have worked out better.
The Benefits of Taking Time for Yourself
Taking time off can be good for you and your child. Respite care can last a few hours, which will give you just enough time to recharge and reconnect with who you were before you became a 24/7 caretaker. It can also last a few days or even weeks. Don’t give up on that second honeymoon you were planning. Respite care may make the dream come true.
Keep scrolling to learn more about the benefits of respite care. You may need it more than you realize.
Stress can cause health problems, and this is the last thing you need when your disabled child is relying on your for care. These can include:
- Stomach trouble
You need to stay in good health so you can be there for your child for as long as possible. Taking a break once in a while will help you do that.
Relaxing Your Mind and Body
Respite care isn’t a spa day, but it can sure feel like one once you’ve experienced the impact it can have on your mind and body. Of course, you love your child, but caretaking can also feel like a job that doesn’t even offer lunch breaks. You need to rest before you can recharge.
Having Time and Space for Yourself
The relationship a caregiver parent has to their disabled child is perhaps the only relationship they’ll ever have where they spend all of their time with someone else. It would drive you crazy if you had to be with your husband or your other kids at all times.
As they grow older, your disabled child may also need a break from you. They may develop friendships with caretakers and look forward to the time they spend with them.
Your special needs child may qualify for waivers that will pay for respite care. If they don’t, if you have the ability to pay it is absolutely worth it. If you have other children in the home, you may be able to pay your caregiver a little extra to take care of them, as well. If you’re happy, your whole family is more likely to be happy, and you can’t put a price on that.