Are you in need of respite care? If you are either a full or part-time caregiver, the answer is likely to be yes. Respite care happens when a substitute caregiver assists with an individual’s care needs, so the primary caregiver can take a break. The break can occur regularly (once a week, for example) or occasionally (such as a trip, vacation, graduation or illness).
What types of respite care are available?
- In-home respite is provided by volunteers or paid professionals, occasionally or on a regular basis. Services may last from a few hours to overnight and may be arranged directly or through an agency.
- Respite care at an adult day center is designed for older adults who need help to manage independently or who are isolated and lonely. Planned activities promote well-being through social and health services. Adult day centers typically operate during daytime hours, Monday through Friday, to offer a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment.
- Residential Programs offer temporary 24-hour medical and respite care for varying lengths of time at specialized communities.
If you are caring for a parent, sibling or spouse, and need some “me time,” you’re not alone. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, an estimated 44 million Americans provide assistance and support to a chronically ill, disabled or older family member annually.
A substantial body of research shows family members who provide care to individuals with chronic or disabling conditions are themselves at risk. Emotional, mental, and physical health problems can arise from complex caregiving situations and the strains of caring for frail or disabled relatives.
Signs and Symptoms of Caregiver Stress
Learning to recognize signs of caregiver stress and burnout is the first step caregivers should take to reduce their stress.
- Anxiety, depression, irritability
- Feeling tired and run down
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Overreacting to minor nuisances
- New or worsening health problems
- Feeling resentful or hopeless
- Drinking, smoking, or eating more
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Cutting back on leisure activities
- Depleted energy
- Tendency to catch more colds and the flu
- Constant exhaustion, even after sleeping or taking breaks
- Neglecting one’s own needs because of being busy or apathetic
- Revolving life around caregiving
- Trouble relaxing, even when help is available
- Being increasingly impatient and irritable with the person who needs care
Many organizations, including Cassia, offer twenty-four hour medical and respite care tailored to your loved one’s unique needs, so he or she can take advantage of new friendships and activities. This means you can go on vacation or travel for work-related reasons; or just take much needed time for yourself to restore your energy.
Potential benefits of respite care include the following:
- Reduce stress
- Improve health and well-being
- Avoid or delay out of home placement
- Minimize conditions that could lead to abuse and neglect
- Strengthen family stability
The goal is to give you time to regroup and recharge, while providing care to your loved one. Guests can take advantage of all the programs and services residents use, including exercise classes, celebrations, and a full calendar of events and activities. Home-cooked meals are usually included during a loved one’s stay. Many guests enjoy having the opportunity to meet new people.
Care communities offering respite will work with you and your family physician to develop a personalized plan of care for your loved one. Medical services are provided by doctor’s orders for each guest.
Of course, you will always want to consult your loved one before choosing a respite community. Talk with them about how long you will be away and bring your loved one for lunch or a tour before making any final decisions.
Respite care was created to give each of us time to rejuvenate and better care for loved ones and ourselves. If you want to go out of town to catch up with friends, attend a wedding or graduation, you can do so knowing your loved one is receiving the attention he or she needs with respite care.
Questions about activities available at Stoney Point Meadows? Contact Jill at Jill.OldhamRyder@cassialife.org.