Someone who’s elderly or ill may feel isolated if they’re at home all the time. Their caregivers can feel isolated, too. Respite care may be a welcome break for both of you. If you or someone you know is caring for a loved one, read along to explore other ways to administer care and provide relief for yourself or a caregiver.
What is Respite Care?
Respite care is the temporary care of a sick, elderly, or disabled person, in order to provide relief for their usual caregiver. It can be arranged for just a few hours or for several days or weeks. Care can be provided at home, in a healthcare facility, or at an adult day center. You can get respite care through the Department of Social Services (DSS). They can do an assessment for you and your relative to see if you qualify for respite care. Your local Social Services office may offer you publicly-funded services, or offer you ‘direct payments’ so that you can choose your own respite services.
There are two main types of respite care:
- In-home Respite: A respite service provided in the home of the caregiver or care receiver and allows the caregiver time away to do other activities. During such respite, other activities can occur, which may offer additional support to either the caregiver or the person receiving care.
- Out-of-Home Respite: A respite service provided in settings other than the caregiver/care receiver’s home, including adult day care, senior center, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, family type homes, and/or summer camps, which allows the caregiver time away to focus on life’s other demands.
Who is Respite Care for?
Someone who has an illness or disability may need care around the clock. This can be extremely demanding for their caregiver(s), particularly if they are taking on the full load by themselves. Caregivers sometimes need time to rest and relax, go on vacation, shop, go to appointments, work, or exercise.
You might use respite care if you’re in charge of someone who has a condition like:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
Respite care offers a safe, comfortable place for your loved one while you’re away. Trained providers can keep company with someone who’s disabled or ill, offering them companionship and a change of pace from their usual caregiver.
Respite caregivers may also help your loved one:
- Eat or drink
- Take medications
- Enjoy the outdoors
- Get in and out of bed
Studies exploring respite care have reported benefits for the caregiver including decreased caregiver burden, more time to take care of themselves and other home responsibilities, and a greater level of self-compassion when evaluating their caregiver performance. Respite care helps family caregivers restore balance in their lives. It allows caregivers to take the time to recover from the stresses of caregiving and gives them the flexibility to take care of other important aspects of their lives. Respite care is a critical tool to support a caregiver’s success.
To coordinate respite care services for your loved one, contact Renaissance Home Care.