Taking care of an elderly, chronically ill or disabled family member at home can be a demanding job. Whether you are caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or some other illness, the demands of taking care of the person can sometimes become overwhelming. Caregivers need and must take breaks.
Respite care provides short-term breaks that can relieve stress, restore energy and promote balance in the lives of caregivers. Before holidays and vacation time arrive, take the time to find the right respite care provider for your loved one.
There are various kinds of respite care available, but respite provided away from home allows the primary caregiver to temporarily focus on his or her self without having to worry that their loved one is receiving good care. If you are planning a vacation or need a break longer than a few days, consider allowing the respite care to be provided at a skilled care facility.
First consider your loved one’s needs. Does the person need stimulation, recreation and companionship? Is assistance with daily living needs such as bathing, dressing, feeding or toileting necessary? When assistance with daily living is necessary, have you identified a facility with trained staff that is licensed to provide skilled care.
Although you are anxious for relief, taking time to find the right respite care facility is essential for your peace of mind and your loved one’s safety. You should not wait until you are at a crisis stage to identify the best place that can provide respite care for your loved one.
You should visit facilities now and take time to get to know the care provider who will fill in for you when you need respite.
Tips to Making Sure You Find the Right Respite Care
Here are some tips for making sure you find the right respite care facility:
- Visit the facility. Have a meal there. Is the food good? Can your loved one have snacks outside of regular meal times?
- Watch how staff and residents interact. Is staff smiling? Are residents happy?
- If your loved one has dementia, make certain that staff is trained in providing care to people with dementia.
- Be specific about what your loved one needs. What activities are provided? Are there activities scheduled on weekends?
- Discuss compensation and payment schedules.
Caregivers who ignore the signs of burnout can make themselves sick. Signs of burnout can include anxiety, irritability, lack of appetite, depression, inability to sleep, social withdrawal and inability to relax.
Burnout can cause resentment. If you are caring for an ill or disabled loved one, you need to take care of yourself so that you can continue to provide good care. Finding good respite care is a necessity.
American Senior Communities provide respite care at its facilities statewide. To learn more about respite care and to find a community near you, please visit www.ASCSenioreCare.com/services/respite/.