Caregivers are often family members or close friends who do not get paid but do it out of need or duty. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that in the United States alone, there are 40.4 million unpaid caregivers of seniors 65 or older.
Even though many caregivers find joy and satisfaction in their day-to-day work, no one can do it without some help now and then. The National Institute on Aging says that respite care gives primary caregivers a break for a short time. Respite care can happen in a person’s home, at a daycare center, or in a residential or nursing home that offers overnight care.
What is Respite Care?
Respite care is a fancy term for giving caregivers a short break. Taking care of a sick or disabled person is a 24-hour job. You need a break now and then to take care of yourself. This is where care for a short time can help. This option gives your loved one a safe, comfortable place to stay while you are away with trained specialists. Respite care can take place:
- Where you live
- At special day-care centers
- In places where people can stay the night
You can take breaks for as long or as little time as you need. Respite care can be set up for a few hours, a day, a few days, or even a few weeks.
The Benefits of Respite Care
With so many people taking on the role of caretaker, it is important to remind them to take time for themselves. Respite care is a great way for caregivers to keep taking care of their loved ones while taking the break they need. Here are just a few of the many benefits:
- Gives the caretaker time to focus on their own needs or interests and time to rediscover their hobbies and interests outside of being a caregiver
- Gives the caretaker time to socialize with family and friends
- Helps prevent resentment between patient and caregiver
- The patient gets to see something different and talk to someone else
- A caregiver can come back to work feeling better and more relaxed, which means better care for the patient
Respite care helps caregivers by giving them a break, but it also helps the people who receive it in a number of ways. Here are a few ways a stay in respite care could help your loved one:
- Change things up- If your loved one spends most of their time with the same people, respite care could give them a chance to meet new people. Some seniors might like having the same routine every day, but it can be good for them to try something new now and then.
- Try out a senior living- Respite care is a great way for seniors who live at home alone or with a family member to try out life in a community for seniors. During a respite stay, seniors can try out senior living communities without committing to them permanently.
5 Scenarios for Respite Care
Often, caregivers are hesitant to ask for help or plan for a break because they have mixed feelings. Many might feel bad about being dependent on others, while others might worry about the health of a loved one. But by taking a break and using respite care services, caregivers can provide better care for their loved ones. Here are some situations where it might make sense for a caregiver to use respite care:
After An Illness or Hospitalization
When a loved one is recovering from surgery, an illness, or a stay in the hospital, they often need more care than caregivers can give at home. Skilled nurses from home health services can help the person get better faster and give the caregiver and other family members peace of mind.
People often get one or more long-term illnesses as they get older. As these conditions get worse, it can get harder and harder for caregivers to keep up with them. Also, many caregivers help an elderly relative, which can be hard on the heart. Respite caregivers can help full-time caregivers learn how to handle their loved one’s new care needs by giving them a break.
Life happens, and people who take care of family members need time to live their own lives. Respite caregivers can help out when a primary caregiver needs to go on vacation, take time off for maternity leave, be there for other important family members, or get ready for a wedding.
Conflicts in Their Schedules
Things come up at the last minute, and it can be hard to find someone to fill in while you’re gone. Respite caregivers can help take care of your loved one when you have to go to an emergency appointment, a meeting with a client at work, or a family matter. Most of the time, these services can be set up ahead of time or at the last minute.
For Some Much Needed Rest
Caregiving is one of the hardest jobs, no matter how much you love the person you are taking care of. At some point during their time as caregivers, many people feel emotionally and physically drained. It’s important to pay attention to your needs and take advantage of the services you can get. Respite caregivers are there to give you a break when you need it most, even if it’s just to go to a movie or get a massage.
Respite Care at Hospice Care Options
At Hospice Care Options, we know how hard it can be to send a loved one to a short-term care facility. Respite services here give your senior a temporary place to stay in a lively community and full care from a highly skilled team, so you can go on a trip or just relax without worrying about your loved one. We also offer care-at-home options. Contact us or follow us on Facebook for more information, or if you want to know more about these services or set up a tour.