What is Respite Care?Respite care is a type of assistance that allows the family caregiver to take a break from care-giving. This type of care focuses on helping family caregivers recharge, ease their stress, and avoid caregiver burnout. Rather than spending time attending to daily duties, respite care provides assistance and support to the family caregiver. Keeping the caregiver healthy and supported results in higher quality time spent together. The longer a family member can provide appropriate care, the longer the loved one is able to stay comfortably at home.
Role of a Family CaregiverThe role of a family caregiver can be an honor and a privilege. Some caregivers acknowledge they enjoy having the opportunity to “repay” their parent by caring for them. Caring for a loved one can be a rewarding experience, but intense or long-term care can often have a negative impact on the caregiver’s health and well-being. This is especially difficult if you are a first-time family caregiver.These individuals often struggle with balancing their role as a caregiver with their own family’s needs, or caregiving and paid employment. This often leads to a situation where the caregiver feels overwhelmed and confused about what steps to take next in their caregiving journey combined with the effects of anticipatory grief, and may put the family caregiver at risk of:
- Psychological effects such as depression, anxiety, and anger
- Health related issues resulting from chronic stress, lack of sleep and/or physical exercise
- Personal financial problems
- Negative career consequences
- Drug/alcohol abuse
- Elderly abuse
Types of Respite CareRespite care can be provided at home or in a long-term care facility. Care can be provided by friends, neighbors, family members, volunteers, or a home health care service provider. Some examples of respite care services include:
- Personal Care
- Meal Preparation
- Medication Reminder
- Light Housekeeping
- Developing and nurturing the care recipient’s social, recreational and life skills;
- Reducing stress and improving long-term functioning of both caregivers and care recipients;
- Preventing crisis situations and elder abuse.