That's been the experience of Ellen Bennett of the Munroe-Meyer Institute's Respite Across the Lifespan. Bennett and MMI are marking Caregiver Awareness Month with a presentation from noon to 12:50 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Sorrell Center, Room 3030, on resources available to help those caring for family members -- and explaining just what "respite" and "caregiver" mean.
"We want to identify employees who also have that second job, who go home and take care of someone with special needs," Bennett said. "We want to let them know that, yes, they are a caregiver, and that they can take advantage of respite services."
Many people don't consider themselves caregivers, even if they are taking care of a spouse, child or other family member, Bennett said.
"So many people just feel like that's part of their duties. And a lot of people, when we talk to them, they feel guilt for asking for help."
Many people also misunderstand the term "respite," thinking it is some form of hospice care, Bennett said. "It's just to take that short-term break, so they can recharge."
Bennett urged members of the UNMC community who have a family member with a disability, a chronic health care condition or aging parents with special needs to come to the presentation to find out about available respite services.
For questions on the presentation or about services, contact Kim Falk.