The average American worker only uses about 54% of their paid vacation time. Though 96% of people say that using their vacation time is important to them, workers in the U.S. rack up about 662 million unused days, according to Project Time Off. Financially, this results in $66 billion lost in benefits and a $236 billion loss in the economy, money that would have been spent during vacation time. The costs are higher than that for the people who forfeit vacation, as being overworked can lead to burnout, poor satisfaction, strained relationships, health problems, emotional problems, poor sleep and even increased addictions.
There are already overworked employees that come home to another full-time job, that of being a caregiver for an aging loved one. While others have left or limited their paid employment in order to care for an aging loved one, which involves many more hours than the typical 40-hour workweek. This adds up to an estimated 44 million unpaid caregivers, 40-70% of whom will experience depression. Nearly all of these caregivers report a higher level of stress. Some unfortunately also develop health problems and addiction issues; and many fail to engage in preventative care, which leads to disastrous outcomes.
Let’s make this personal. Do you need a vacation from work, caregiving, or both? Ask yourself these questions to determine the answer.
- Is there always a long to-do list left at the end of the day, even if I worked hard all day long?
- Have I begun resenting those I work for or with, or even those I care for on a daily basis? Have I nearly lost my patience with my loved one?
- Do I have difficulty concentrating or staying on-task?
- Am I experiencing more minor health issues than normal, such as headaches, heartburn, aches and pains or minor colds?
- Have I been neglecting self-care in the form of missing doctor appointments or failing to get enough rest, eat properly or exercise?
- Have I begun making mistakes that are unusual?
- Do little things seem like huge issues?
If you find yourself answering yes, it is time for a vacation. AccuCare Home Health Care of St. Louis offers a valuable service called Respite Care. Respite Care is available to provide for your aging loved one’s needs while you take that much-needed vacation or even just a short break.
Get away. Breathe. Enjoy. Then return to your paid and/or unpaid tasks with renewed focus, clarity, concentration, increased patience and decreased stress. It is so important to also take care of yourself, it’s a necessary part of being able to truly care for others.
If you and your loved one would benefit from our respite care services, contact us today to explore our program. YOU deserve it!