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Respite Care For Families

Respite Care For Families

Respite Care for families: Taking care of an older or ill family member can be enormously rewarding — but it can be physically and emotionally draining as well. That’s why it’s important for caregivers to seek occasional respite from their responsibilities. Whether it’s for a few hours a week to run errands or a few weeks a year to take a much-needed vacation, respite care offers you the chance reduce stress, restore energy and keep your life in balance.

Some things to remember when deciding on respite care:

1. Respite care for families: Involve your loved one. When planning for time off from your caregiving duties, make sure to keep your loved one in the loop. Get their input in deciding how much time you will be away — and who will fill in for you when you’re gone. Make sure to tell them that they will benefit from you being more relaxed and refreshed. And assure them that they will also reap rewards from socializing with other people.

2. Respite care for families: Assess your needs. Make a list of what care will be needed in your absence. Also decide if the respite care provider will need any special skills or training to be able to stay with your parent. If so, understand that your options for respite caregivers may be more limited.

3. Respite care for families: Stay organized. Use a calendar to assist you with helpers or check out online tools such as Lotsa Helping Hands or CarePages to keep track of appointments and send requests to friends and family. Don’t forget to include time for yourself and note it on the calendar.

Despite its rewards, serving as a senior’s primary caregiver can be demanding and stressful. Many others are in the same situation. An estimated 44 million Americans — accounting for 21 percent of all U.S. households — regularly care for an elderly relative or friend. Family and friends provide an estimated 80 percent of senior care.

There are many resources available to you. In the interest of your overall health — and that of your family and the person you are caring for — don’t approach caregiving responsibilities as if you are alone.

Respite Care for the families, relief for the family

No matter how much you love the person you are caring for, you need regular breaks from caregiving. Nonstop caregiving will drain your energy and take a toll on your physical, mental and emotional health.

If you will not do it for yourself, please consider that respite care also benefits the person you are caring for. After a break, you will return refreshed and more effective.

A respite could be just a day away with friends, an afternoon of personal errands or an exercise break. Or it could be a vacation away from it all.

You can find relief from numerous sources:

  • Relatives and friends who can step in as needed
  • Professional in-home senior care providers
  • Churches and other volunteer organizations
  • Adult day care centers
  • Senior centers and the local Area Agencies on Aging
  • The Department of Health and Human Services Eldercare Locator

Often, family and friends want to help. They just do not know how. As a caregiver, you can make it easy on them — and yourself — by always having a list of assignments ready, like preparing meals, picking up a few things at the grocery, going on a walk with the senior or staying with him from time-to-time.