Everyone Needs a Vacation — Especially Family Caregivers!

Summer is here, and many people are looking forward to hitting the road or taking to the skies for a getaway. What’s your favorite vacation? A week at the beach? A camping trip to a beautiful wilderness area? Taking the kids to Disneyland? Exploring a city where you’ve never been before?

If you’re a family caregiver, you may be tempted to stop reading this article right now. “Vacation, what’s that?” you are probably saying. And it’s true that for people who are providing care for elderly or disabled loved ones, going on a trip may seem like a dim memory from the past.

But experts tell us a change of scene and time off benefit our health. People who take regular vacations have a lower risk of heart disease and other stress-related illnesses. Most employers today know that vacation time is important for employee wellness, and that workers return from their time off refreshed and with renewed energy. Employees get burned out—and so do caregivers!

If you’re a caregiver, set aside for a moment the idea that a vacation is not in the cards for you. Here are a couple of questions you might be asking:

“I feel so guilty leaving my loved one at home.” This can be a tough one. If the person you care for is your spouse, or perhaps a parent who relies on you alone for care, you might think that going away for a week will be very hard for them. But remember: by taking off this time and enjoying a change of scene, you’ll lower your stress level, boost your immune system, and come home with your emotional batteries recharged—all of which also can improve the care you provide.

“But who will take care of my loved one?” This is the big question, but it’s worth doing some homework and brainstorming. If your loved one lives alone, or with you but can be home alone, friends and family may be willing to step in while you are gone. If your loved one needs quite a bit of care and supervision, look into respite care.

Stein Assisted Living, at the Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living in Somerset, NJ, offers short-term stays, which can provide a beneficial change of scene for your loved one. Your loved one can enjoy a 2-4 week stay with nutritious meals and enjoyable activities. Stein Assisted Living is a Jewish-based, non-profit community offering gracious, private accommodations. It also provides 24 hour/7 days per week nursing, social, fitness and educational activities, a beauty salon, housekeeping services, transportation and much more.  Most importantly, Stein Assisted Living provides peace of mind. Your loved one will enjoy all the benefits that the Stein Assisted Living caring community has to offer, and you will be able to enjoy your vacation, knowing that your loved one is well taken care of.

To find out more about respite stays, or Assisted Living in general, contact us at 732-568-1155 or info@wilfcampus.org.

Stein Assisted Living, which includes Jaffa Gate Memory Care Neighborhood, is part of The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living, which is also comprised of Stein Hospice, Wilentz Senior Residence, Wilf Transport and The Foundation.

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