Whether you’re seeking assistance to take care of your aging mother or seeking care options for yourself, you have likely seen the phrase “respite care.”
Respite care is temporary assistance for someone who needs 24/7 care, giving rest time to the primary caregiver. Respite care can vary from just a few hours to weeks-long caregiving assistance.
According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, an estimated 44 million Americans give unpaid care to loved ones. Many of these people have jobs, families, and other responsibilities. Over time, a caregiver’s own health can decline if they don’t take a break every now and again. Respite care is a wonderful service that benefits not only caregivers but care recipients too.
1. Social Engagement
This is actually a benefit for both the caregiver and care recipient. Often, caregivers don’t receive much social interaction outside of their caregiving duties. Between caring for their loved one, working at their job, and spending time with their families, the only spare time left is used to sleep. By using respite care, caregivers are able to take time for themselves.
When a care recipient goes to respite care, they also receive social engagement. There are other people at respite care who your loved one can interact with, whether they’re fellow guests or team members. The team members in charge of respite care will be there to provide skilled nursing care, and emotional and mental care too.
2. Improved Health
There are several health concerns for caregivers. Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, injury from lifting or moving the care recipient, and more can cause physical health decline. Constant caregiving can also take a toll on your mental and emotional health. Caregiver burnout, depression, and anxiety are all common health concerns among the millions of Americans who give around-the-clock support to their loved one.
To best take care of your loved one, you have to first take care of yourself. Respite care ensures that you’ll stay in good health and high spirits to take care of your loved one with compassion and patience.
3. Improves Caregiver and Care Recipient Relationships
No one wants to admit it, but when a child is suddenly taking care of their parent, it can cause friction in the relationship. The role switch is difficult for both parties, and you might find both being irritable towards each other. Respite care allows you both to take a break and maintain a healthy relationship.
As someone’s main caregiver, you might feel guilty for taking time off. However, to be an effective caregiver, you absolutely need breaks. It’s the same as any other job you would perform. You have hours off and days off so you can return to work ready to do the best job possible. Caregiving is similar. You need to rest and take care of your health so you can take the proper care of your loved one.
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