Table of Contents
There are over 40 million Americans who care for a loved one in the United States and identify themselves as their loved one’s primary caregiver. Family caregiving is a demanding job. It can feel overwhelming and be both physically and emotionally draining. It is not only important – but necessary – for primary family caregivers to take breaks to avoid burnout and provide the best care possible to their loved one. Primary caregivers may often overlook their own needs to uphold their caregiving duties.
At Like Family Personal Care, we realize that, more often than not, there is more than one person in a family unit that needs care. Primary caregivers need help, too.
Respite care, a type of short-term, as-needed care offered by personal care agencies (such as Like Family Personal Care), provides the support necessary for a healthy balance in a family unit.
If you are a primary caregiver, it’s time to take care of you, too. Learn more about respite care below.
What is Respite Care?
Respite care is a temporary form of home care. In respite care, a substitute caregiver steps in to care for a primary caregiver dependent loved one, providing them time to tend to other important matters in their life. Respite care exists to temporarily relieve the primary caregiver of a sick, aging, or disabled family member.
Respite care can take many forms. For example, it could look like support from family and friends, or the assistance of a volunteer or paid caregiver. Professional respite caregiving services can be provided for as little as a few hours or as long as a few weeks, and can be utilized on a regular basis, or in the instance of an emergency. Respite care services are offered inside and outside of the home, and provides flexibility to both you and your loved one.
In-home respite care is a useful service for primary caregivers who are striving for more balance in their lives. Respite care can be provided by friends, family, volunteers, or paid respite care workers; anyone you feel comfortable sharing your caregiving duties with. In-home respite care programs provide flexible services based upon the needs of each individual client. Some of these services include:
- Companionship: A personal care aide can assist your loved one if they function at a high level but still need daily living assistance. Companions can provide transportation to and from activities, shopping, or just jumping into an old hobby.
- Housekeeping: This includes help with everyday household tasks such as laundry, grocery shopping, and meal preparation.
- Activities for Daily Living (ADLs): This includes assistance with essential tasks, such as dressing, bathing, and eating.
- Basic Medical Assistance: Respite workers can usually provide basic care, such as wound care and assistance with medication. If your loved one needs a higher level of medical care, you may benefit from a home healthcare professional with advanced training to provide greater medical care.
The Benefits of Respite Care
There are significant benefits that come along with utilizing respite care services, both for the caregiver and the family member receiving care. Respite care services provide a safe and accepting environment for a loved one, giving the caregiver the peace of mind necessary to focus on their own health.
- Prevent Burnout: While caregiving is a fulfilling role, it can lead to exhaustion and a diminished sense of well being. It is important to take breaks to balance and maintain your own health.
- Break From Routine: You may think you are the only one who needs a break, however it could help those being cared for as well. New interactions can provide a sense of connectedness to the outside world. This sense of connection can fight feelings of isolation.
- Stimulation over Isolation: More often than not, family members who are receiving the care can begin to feel isolated, respite can help to recharge them. Interacting with new individuals as well as an option to get out of the house can stimulate an individual and create a more positive outlook.
- Tips on Caregiving: Working with a professional caregiver could help with any questions you have on providing daily care, and could help you to gather tips or helpful resources.
Is Respite Care Right for You?
Respite care is right for any caregiver who is struggling to maintain balance within their daily lives. If you find yourself overwhelmed and unable to manage the demands of life and your caregiving duties, respite care may be a place to start. Respite care offers a way of taking a short break, so that you can recharge and know that your loved one is safe. Respite is not about taking a break from caring, it is about taking a break to be a better caregiver.
If you are a caregiver who is unsure whether or not to enlist the help of a professional caregiver, try talking with family and friends. Communicating openly and consistently with family members is both a great way to receive support and share the responsibility. If you are far from family, you could find it helpful to join a support group to learn more about ways of coping and discuss your options with other caregivers.
Find Respite Care Near Me
Like Family Personal Care in St. George, Utah, provides respite care for individuals of many ages and with various medical conditions. Some of those we provide respite care services for include the elderly, those with Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related illnesses, and children with disabilities.
Like Family Personal Care provides expert caregivers that are available 24/7. Our respite caregivers typically help patients with a wide range of tasks, including but not limited to medication management, cooking, cleaning, pet care, and personal care.
If you are not located within our service area, you can visit the National Respite Network and use their Locator tool to find service providers in your area.
Links for Learning More
- To find a support group that best suits your needs, VeryWell Health has created a 2021 guide. Click here to learn more Best Caregiver Support Groups of 2021
- To find caregiving services and support by state visit the Family Caregiver Alliance
- For more information on respite care please visit the National Respite Network