Respite Care - How Taking Time for Yourself Can Help You Better Care for Your Loved Ones

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Respite care services were established to give caregivers a temporary break from taking care of the elderly they are in charge of. The temporary break can range from hours, days, a few weeks, or several times a month. A caregiver’s work is not easy as it seems. It requires commitment and 24-hour availability especially if the elderly assigned to them are suffering from Alzheimer's disease or other severe illnesses.

Within the duration of respite care services, the elderly are temporarily assisted either by in-home respite care or out-of-home respite care. Respite care is indeed beneficial to both the elderly and the caregiver.

Respite Care - How It Works

When the primary caregiver leaves for a break from caregiving, another professional caregiver will take over temporarily. This is to provide for the elder’s needs while the primary caregiver is away.

There are various services that respite care has to offer. These services include:

  1. Personal care and grooming (e.g., bathing, changing clothes, brushing teeth, etc.)
  2. Cooking and meal service
  3. Socialization opportunities
  4. Medical care
  5. Dementia care
  6. Transportation
  7. Running errands
  8. Medication management
  9. Various recreational activities
  10. Companionship

Types and Options

To know what type of respite care is the most suitable for you or your loved one, let’s take a closer look at each type of respite care service.

In-Home Respite Care

From the name itself, in-home respite care occurs inside one’s own home. In this setup, the professional caregiver will visit the elderly’s house for a few hours, a full-time period, or a few weeks.

One of the major advantages of this type of respite care is that it can make your elderly feel more comfortable unlike in respite care facilities. However, this type of respite care might not be suitable for bedridden and severely ill older adults as a single in-home caregiver is not enough.

Out-Of-Home Respite Care

This is the opposite of in-home respite care where the elderly is put into a residential or non-residential facility while the primary caregiver is away. Out-of-home respite care also includes 2 categories which are:

  • Adult day centers - These refer to non-residential types of facilities that cater to nutritional health, social needs, and other daily needs of the elderly. Adult day centers are also a good option for short-term respite and for older adults who just got discharged from a hospital.
  • Respite care centers - These are another type of out-of-home respite care wherein the elderly is put in a facility either a nursing home, skilled nursing facility, memory care center, or assisted living community. These respite care centers are a more suitable choice for both short-term and long-term respite care.

There are also specialized types of respite care services such as:

Respite Care For Dementia Or Alzheimer’s Disease

This type of respite care is for elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia. In-home or out-of-home setups are both good options.

Respite Care For Cancer

There are different types of cancer. Thus, this type of respite care includes personalized care depending on the type of cancer the patient has.

Respite Care For Stroke

Older adults with stroke usually have mobility difficulties. That’s why this respite care includes additional services that cater to the needs of stroke patients.

There are different types of respite care services and choosing the right one depends on the elderly’s health care needs. Also, in deciding the type of respite care to be done, both the family of the older loved one and the professional caregiver will work together to plan personalized care either at home or in a respite care facility.

When is it Needed?

Taking care of the elderly especially those with serious illnesses is no easy task for it needs 24/7 service for their patient. With that said, caregivers become prone to burnout. To address this issue, respite care services are established for the health and well-being of caregivers. Some of the reasons why caregivers need respite care are:

  • They're getting well after becoming sick or getting hurt.
  • They are attending important family events.
  • They desire time with their loved ones or pals.
  • They are feeling burnt out from work.
  • They are just temporarily unavailable due to other reasons.
Finding Services

There are many respite care services out there. To further help you with your journey of finding one, here are 3 easy steps you can follow:

  • Do your research - To start your journey first is to search various healthcare facilities, nursing homes, adult day centers, or skilled nursing facilities that offer short-term or long-term respite services.
  • Consider Recommendations - Once you got a grasp of the facilities that provide respite care, you can ask friends and relatives who had previous experience with the matter. This will help you evaluate your choices and come up with the best 3 or 2 options.
  • Attend or visit respite care facilities - Lastly, to get a better understanding of what the facilities have to offer, it’s important to visit them and ask crucial questions about sanitation, health care services, space, and safety. In this way, you’ll be able to determine what facility or service suits you or your loved one’s needs.
How Much is the Service Cost?

The exact cost of respite care depends on the type and duration of the respite care service. Below is the estimated cost of respite care:

  • Short-term/adult day centers - An average of $74 per day
  • Assisted living facilities - An average of $141 per day
  • In-home respite care - An average of $150 per day

Though some insurance companies may cover partial expenses, not all insurance plans include respite care in their coverage.

Sum Up

Caregivers are known to be committed to taking care of their elderly. And unlike other white color jobs, caregivers are on duty 24/7. The job takes a toll on their mental and physical well-being. Respite care plays an important role in keeping the caregivers’ mental and physical well-being at its peak. With that said, caregivers can now fulfill their roles better as they are more fit to do the job.

Also, in choosing a respite care service, it’s important to consider the elderly’s condition and environmental preferences. I hope this article helped you get a grasp of what respite care is all about.

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