It is hard to be the main caregiver of a loved one. In many situations, it may be difficult to prioritize your emotional and physical needs above those of your charge. However, this can lead to burnout which is detrimental to both the caregiver and their loved ones. One of the solutions that might help is to consider respite care.
What Is Respite Care?
Respite care is a short-term arrangement with a respite care provider where professional steps in to provide care for your loved one. There are many reasons to arrange for respite care. For example, you might have an out-of-state business meeting to attend to or they require intensive medical support in a period of rehabilitation post-surgery or simply because you are tired and need a break. In short, respite care is designed for when caregivers are unavailable, medically unqualified, or when they simply need a break.
To meet the needs of different caregivers and their loved ones, there are also many different types of respite care. The three main options are:
- In-home care. This means that a trained professional will come to your place of residence during the time that you are away. This provides your loved ones with enriching social interaction while ensuring that they have someone to keep them safe during the day. Depending on the type of aide that they are, some will also help with household chores, cooking, and other day-to-day responsibilities. This is a good option for caregivers who are working and need to return to the office on selected days.
- Day programs. This is similar to in-home care but takes place in a respite care community. This means that each day, your loved one will travel to this community and back. Similarly, they will have the support of trained professionals and social interaction. The main difference is that your loved one will be able to enjoy a difference in the environment and a bigger range of different social experiences. Most communities will also arrange enriching exclusive senior living programs and activities that will give each day a greater sense of purpose.
- Short-term stays at an assisted living community. This means that your loved one will temporarily stay at a residence away from home for the period that they require respite care. The amenities will vary depending on the provider and state, but generally include around-the-clock care, a daily schedule of fun and exciting activities, nutritious meals, and on-site medical support. This option would be good for caregivers who have plans that will require you to be away from home or if your loved one requires 24/7 medical support. This is also a good preview of what assisted living programs are like if that is an option for the future.
Benefits of Respite Care
First and foremost, it allows caregivers to take care of themselves. Whether it is an important career opportunity or a much-needed break, caregivers should not feel like they have to put their lives completely on hold to fulfill their responsibilities. Caregiver burnout is a real symptom of prolonged stress and in that mental state, caregivers will struggle to take care of themselves. This means that not only are their needs not met, but it is highly likely that the quality of care they offer will be affected as well.
Next, even though your loved ones may initially feel disoriented and upset by a change in environment, it is beneficial for them to have more social interaction with others and receive the support that they need. Respite care communities have trained medical professionals who are equipped with skills to provide personalized care and stimulating programs for your loved one.
If you have more questions about how respite care might benefit you or your loved one, contact us to find out more about our offerings here at Discovery Commons At Wildewood today!