Respite care is a temporary break from caregiving responsibilities.
It is an extremely important part of long-term caregiving. No person can take care of another’s needs constantly on an ongoing basis without periodic breaks. Many long-term family caregivers use respite care as an opportunity to take care of their own needs — to relax, refresh, and recharge. However, the truth is that respite care is as good for the care recipient as it is for the caregiver.
When caregiving falls completely on one person for a prolonged period of time, by necessity the goal often becomes just about getting through the day. It’s impossible to provide all of the enriching or therapeutic activities that can benefit them. There simply isn’t enough time or energy to do so. When professional caregivers can step in for a bit, they can ensure that their time is full of engaging and enriching activities to benefit the care recipient’s mental and holistic wellbeing.
A popular and effective way to provide respite care opportunities on an individualized basis is to hire a professional caregiver through a senior care agency. Senior care agencies find and vet high-quality professional caregivers, and then pair them with seniors who can use their help.
Respite care can look different for every family. Some common arrangements include:
Daily Respite Periods
Many families choose to have a professional caregiver come into the home for a few hours a day. This allows the caregiving family member an opportunity to rest, attend appointments or take care of other obligations.
It also allows the care recipient to get valuable social interaction and participate in meaningful activities that they might not otherwise have the chance to do. They may assist them outside, help them get exercise or participate in activities to support a good night’s sleep.
Caregivers can even help with housework or chores during this time to help lighten the load.
Weekly Respite Periods
Some families choose to enlist a professional caregiver once or more per week. As with daily respite, the caregiver gets a needed break — or at least an opportunity to attend to other obligations — and the care recipient gets to enjoy a meaningful activity and healthy socialization in a safe scenario.
Overnight (or Multiple Night) Respite Periods
Professional caregivers also can stay in the home with the care recipient while the caregiving family member goes out of town for a weekend — or even for a few weeks. Some family members find spending the night at a local hotel gives them a much-needed break and allows them to come home the next day feeling refreshed and ready to continue.
Every family is different, and there are no wrong scenarios for respite care, as long as both parties are getting what they need. It is absolutely vital for family caregivers to have periodic breaks from caregiving responsibilities to protect their mental and physical health, as well as the quality of the relationship.
Additional Benefits of Respite Care
- Multiple social relationships are important for mental, social, and holistic health.
- Time apart can rejuvenate relationships.
- Professional caregivers have a lot to offer in terms of seeing how others have solved similar problems. A fresh pair of eyes may help overcome challenges in creative ways.
- In case of an emergency, the care recipient has other people with whom they are comfortable, and who are familiar with their care needs.
Call a senior care agency to discuss setting up a personalized respite program to meet the specific needs of your loved one.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elder Care in Chadds Ford, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care.
Call today: (484) 206-4544
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