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Respite Care to the Rescue [phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file /home/senior38/public_html/classes/class_Twitter.php on line 120: Illegal string offset 'account'
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Respite Care to the Rescue

by Senior Care Society on 04/02/2012 - 07:19 pm

Tag: Caregiver Advice

 

Respite care is a crucial resource that is sorely underutilized. The cost, accessibility and availability of these services may be obstacles, the reasons caregivers refuse the reprieve that they desperately need. But guilt, denial and exhaustion are perhaps equally significant hindrances.

 

  • I don’t need help; I’m just fine.
  • No one can care for Grandma better than me.
  • I just don’t have time or energy to think about setting something up.

 

Sound familiar?

 

If you know someone who is a caregiver that could benefit from a break, take action. Instead of saying, “You look exhausted. Take a break,” offer to help. Though your concern may be well-intentioned, it’s likely to fall on deaf ears if you don’t suggest a solution. Consider this approach instead: “Mom, you are exhausted. Driving your sister to all of these medical appointments, doing her laundry, and caring for her around the clock is too much. This week, I’ll do her laundry and drive her to the doctor so you can rest.”

 

Respite care comes in many forms. Adult day services (adult day care) is a great option; it not only gives the caregiver an opportunity to run errands, work a full- or part-time job, or simply rest while the care recipient spends time at the center, but the care recipient has the opportunity to engage with others socially and participate in meaningful activities. Some assisted living communities and nursing homes offer short-term care or respite stays, a solution perhaps when the caregiver needs surgery or time for a family vacation. Some married couples in a caregiving situation may consider a short-term stay together, to determine if a care transition may be the best option in the near future for one or both partners.

 

Bringing in home care is also a good possibility, allowing the caregiver and care recipient to stay in the comfort of their own home while receiving assistance with personal care, meals, housework, transportation, or even companionship. Yet there may be a temptation for the caregiver to do other things while the home care provider is there; for example, while the home care aide is taking your loved one to the doctor, the caregiver might try to clean the house or go to the grocery store in that “free” time span. This might be fine once in a while, but the point of respite care is to take a break, to rest and recharge in order to be a better caregiver. Be certain that your loved one is taking time to rest when the home care aide is present.

 

Helping the caregiver with coordination of care (medical appointment transportation, grocery store runs, post office trips, paying the home care bill, etc.) and other arrangements can be extremely helpful, taking a burden off the caregiver’s shoulders. Take advantage of the Family Portal tool on this site to guide your efforts.

 

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