If you are a caregiver for your elderly parents or an older family member, you know that it is one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, jobs that you could ever have. That being said, you deserve to be able to take time for yourself whether it be for your own medical appointments or to maintain your sanity during the hard times. This, however, is easier said than done. Respite care is a game-changer. With respite care services added to your normal routine, you will feel better and so will the person that you are caring for.
But, what is respite care? How do you choose the right services for your unique situation? Continue reading to learn how to choose the best respite care services for your situation.
What Is Respite Care?
Caregivers, when overworked and overstressed, can struggle with burnout. Even if this isn’t your full-time job, it is a taxing job, and this means that you still need to be able to take some time for yourself. Don’t feel guilty for needing some space sometimes.
The word respite means a short period of time where you experience relief from an undesirable or unpleasant situation. When together, the term respite care refers to planned care for your parents/family member while you (the caregiver) can take necessary breaks from caregiving.
Implementing this break into your caregiving routine gives you the ability to be your best self when caring for a loved one.
Benefits of Respite Care
For the caregiver, respite care can help to relieve some of the stress that comes from caregiving. It can give you the mindset that you need to continue helping your family. Having respite care in place also gives you a backup plan in the event of an emergency.
For the care receiver, these services can give them someone new to talk to. It can also prevent potential accidents from occurring because the caregiver was overworked and exhausted.
Considering Respite Care
Caring for an older or ill family member can be hugely rewarding but being consumed by it will drain you physically and emotionally, and eventually, cause burnout. That’s why it’s important for full-time caregivers to seek occasional respite from their responsibilities. Whether just for a few hours a week to run personal errands or longer to take a much-needed vacation, respite care offers you the chance to rest and restore your physical and mental energy.
While it may be possible to find another family member or friend to care for your loved one on occasion, it’s important to explore all of your options. Many senior living facilities, memory care units, and nursing homes offer short-term care for the elderly so that their caregivers can take a break, go on vacation or just enjoy freedom from their responsibilities for a bit. With this level of support, you and your loved one can benefit from respite care services without guilt!
Residential Respite Care Services
If you are tired and overwhelmed by caring for a sick or elderly family member, you may want to consider seeking outside help. You may feel frustrated or unable to provide the highest level of care to your loved one. Or, you may simply recognize that you need a day off for yourself. Whether your needs due to another obligation or the stresses of daily life, it is always a good idea to seek out respite care whenever it’s available.
Out-of-home respite care gives your loved one a chance to get out of the house. This can be a great option if you’re a live-in caregiver as it gives you the chance to get a break from your care responsibilities. Better yet, out-of-home options, like residential respite care, also gives your loved one a chance to socialize with peers, which has more benefits than you may realize. Older adults with active social lives may experience slower memory decline rates and report feeling happier than their peers.
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities sometimes offer residential respite care, which allows for overnight or extended stays to temporarily relieve family caregivers from their duties. When looking for respite care services, it’s important to note that facilities will have different policies. Some facilities may only accept clients when their current resident count is low and extra space is available. Others may require a minimum stay of at least 3 nights or more.
Can You Afford Respite Care?
In short, yes, you have affordable options. You can afford to take some time for yourself while knowing that your loved one is in good hands while you are gone. Even if you are worried about finances or trying to prevent the extra expense, you still have some options.
You might have a friend or a family member willing to stand in for you and would be willing to help out regularly. However, you may be in a unique situation where you truly have no one to support you.
Even these options have financial assistance via government resources. Your local social services agencies will be able to point you in the right direction of services that are available at a reduced cost or may provide services free of charge.
Choosing the Right Services
When it comes to finding the right respite care services for your situation, remember to always do your research. Don’t take what someone else might tell you at face value. You know what services your loved one needs and you should trust your gut when it comes to placing them in someone else’s care, even if it’s only for a few hours each week.
Taking on the responsibility is tough and can be overwhelming at times. With the help of a Geriatric Care Manager (GCM), you can come up with a solid care plan and even help you find appropriate care options and financial assistance in your area. They can point you in the direction of services that you didn’t even know that you qualified for.
Exceptional Living Centers can help you locate services in your area.
How To Tell If You Need Help
We get it. Caring for your loved one is difficult, stressful, and at times overwhelming. Asking for help can be even more difficult and can cause an abundance of unnecessary guilt. You may not even realize that it’s time to reach out and ask for help.
- Are you constantly drained mentally and emotionally?
- Do you worry that no one else can provide proper services while you are away?
- Have you been struggling to balance a full-time job while caring for them 24/7?
- When is the last time that you were able to put yourself first and perform some self-care?
- Is your health being affected by the long hours and the mental/emotional stress of it all?
- Do you feel helpless in your current situation?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it may be time to find a respite service to help you get back some time to focus on yourself for even a few hours during your hectic weeks.
When to Hire Respite Care Services
When you feel like you are at your wits’ end or you are on the verge of a mental breakdown, you should start looking into respite care services to make sure that you still have time for yourself. This is for the benefit of you and the person that you are taking care of.
Exceptional Living Centers can help you find the right services for your individual situation. Contact us today for more information.