January 15, 2021
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What is Respite Care for the Elderly?

The temporary care of an older person is respite care for the elderly. Primary caregivers are bogged down with various duties daily and cannot complete necessary tasks in their own lives and give seniors the attention they need. Thanks to respite programs, it is possible for families and caregivers to take scheduled breaks from caring for the elderly.   

In some instances, the person hired for respite care for the elderly will provide a minimal amount of care, simply assisting with general house cleaning duties or other light tasks. In other cases, the care would be more comprehensive, and all personal care duties would be considered.   

Caregivers are often under a lot of pressure. The duties of caring for a loved one can seem endless leaving no time for yourself. It is important to be aware of this. Breaks from care giving often have to be planned ahead of time so that there is someone available to take your place. This will allow you run errands, spend time with your family or take time for yourself to decompress.   

Another aspect to consider is the mental wellbeing of the caregiver. Families play a significant role in this regard and can make things better through hiring a respite carer. This reduces the stress placed on the primary.   

Respite care for the elderly provided by helping with online banking

Why is Respite Care for the Elderly Vital?  

According to a report by the Nation Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, over 17 million Americans offer care to their loved ones who are over the age of 65.

Most caregivers offer assistance to the elderly out of a sense of commitment and love. They feel compelled to help the elderly cope with all kinds of changes that accompany the aging stage, such as mental and physical challenges.   

However, caregiving is hard work, and there is hardly any time for breaks. Families may overlook this fact until the person who carries out these vital duties suffers burnout.   

Let's examine some important reasons as to why respite care is needed:  

  • One study conducted by the AARP Public Policy Institute showed that close to 88% of caregivers surveyed reported they found it more challenging than they thought.   
  • Caregivers are only human and and are at increased risk of depression if they do not get metered breaks.  
  • The caregiving report compiled by the AARP shows that only 50% of unpaid caregivers receive help from another caregiver like a relative or friend. They are in need of help with respite care for the elderly.
  • Despite the demands on caregivers, less than 15 percent of them opted for respite care. They often feel guilty for thinking about asking for help, and/or they are concerned about the costs involved.   
  • On the contrary, taking a well-deserved break holds numerous benefits. The caregiver gets a proper break which reduces stress and caregiver fatigue. This even improves the relationship between the care receiver and caregiver. 
  • Caregivers also get ill, go on vacation, need time to rest, shop, exercise, or attend to their family. Knowing how to set up respite care ahead of time will put you in a better position.  
  • Respite care is especially beneficial to a caregiver responsible for a senior person who suffers from a brain injury, has cancer, had a stroke, or has Alzheimer's or dementia, as these individuals often require extensive care.   

What Does Respite Care Services Involve?

respite care for the elderly provided while pushing senior person in wheelchair

Respite care at home is meant to provide your loved ones with a safe caregiving experience where the trained provider of such care offers companionship, a listening ear and assistance as needed.   

Respite care for the elderly caregivers may also help with:  

  • Dressing the elderly person  
  • Bathing and personal grooming  
  • Assistance with drinking or eating  
  • Taking medications  
  • Helping the senior individual enjoy the outdoors  
  • Assistance with getting the elderly person in and out of bed  

Group respite care is another avenue family members may want to consider when giving the primary caregiver a break. They provide group meals, socializing, and various types of entertainment. An adult day care is another option for respite.  

Caring for the elderly at home presents various challenges to their caregivers. Respite care at home is an excellent option as it ensures temporary relieve when needed most.    

Respite Care Obstacles  

Family members might find it hard to admit they need a break. Often, they are so focused on taking care of another person that they feel it is not appropriate to take time out for themselves.   

Allowing yourself to take breaks will ensure you do not get physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. Once you return to take care of your loved one, you will be focused and ready to tackle any challenges with a fresh outlook.   

Be open with the person you care for and other family members as to why you are considering and need respite care. They may welcome the idea with open arms.   

Is There Respite Care for Seniors Near You?  

Most areas offer a variety of respite care options. You can speak to your insurance company or healthcare providers for suggestions in this regard. Make time for learning more about these organizations and the individuals who provide care for the elderly.   

One should feel confident in their abilities and the quality of service they can offer your loved one.  

Respite care is useful during any emergency or even in the case of long-term care. Starting the conversation with potential respite providers before it is needed will be very helpful when the time comes.

Before you begin your search, make up your mind regarding the type of relief you require for your loved ones. Then, take a look at the various options offered. 

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That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!


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