Finding Respite Care

Stressed-Tired-Comforted-300x199.jpgF​or many home caregivers, tending to a senior loved one is a more than full-time job. Although many enjoy spending time with Mom or Dad and find much of their work rewarding, there are still times when the responsibilities become a little too much. If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed, you may want to investigate respite care and try to find ways to get a little time to yourself when necessary.

Respite care

Simply put, respite care is any care that is provided while home caregivers are off duty. It may last only an occasional couple of hours while caregivers spend time relaxing at a movie or shopping, or it may last a full two weeks while caregivers go on vacation far from home. What is important is that home caregivers use that time to recharge their batteries and engage in some much needed "me time."

Determine needs

Caregivers should determine what kind of respite care they need. Is a structured schedule preferred – say, two hours every Thursday morning – or is more flexible schedule better? Is lengthy respite care, perhaps for several days or weeks, ideal? Find the type of respite care that works best for you.

Consider the options

Look for options that fit your situation. Some possible options might include:

Talk to family members and friends. This is a popular option, of course. Siblings or other family members may be available to provide necessary relief. Good friends are also often glad to help if they know they are needed. Starting with this circle is an excellent way to develop a respite care schedule.
Go to faith-based options. Many churches, temples, and other faith-based organizations offer some form of volunteer help for families with caregiving needs. This help may be in the form of home-based help for seniors with mobility issues or it may include on-site activities for seniors who can get around more easily.
Check with community centers and senior centers. Again, for those seniors who can get around more easily and who enjoy social contact, community and senior centers often have day classes or activities that can engage senior loved ones and enable you to enjoy some time off.
Go professional. Often home caregivers find respite care by engaging professional caregivers. This is an especially attractive option when the demands of caring for a loved one are heavy.

Every situation is different, and sometimes setting up respite care can be challenging, but finding appropriate "me time" is necessary to help avoid burnout.​

Related Article
Six Signs of Caregiver Burnout -


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