Why is In-Home Respite Care Important for Family Caregivers?
As the number of family caregivers in our country increases, so does the number of people suffering from exhaustion, overwhelm, isolation, depression and physical ailments related to all of these.
Caregivers have dedicated their time to caring for a loved one and as a result, have given up time for their needs. As their loved one’s physical decline increases or as a condition such as dementia becomes worse, the family caregiver becomes more involved in that care and less able to take the time to refresh themselves. It’s often a 24/7 commitment.
Sometimes a caregiver is far away from family and friends who may offer assistance or sometimes they are the sole caregiver for their loved one. This is why respite care for the family Caregiver is needed.
What Is Respite Care for the Caregiver?
Respite Care for the caregiver is simply a service that supports and maintains the primary caregiving relationship by providing temporary care to an aging parent or loved one, to provide the family caregiver a chance for rest or personal time.
What Are the Benefits of Respite Care for the Caregiver?
- R – Renewal and Relaxation: Taking a walk, strolling leisurely through the mall, visiting a museum or doing whatever brings joy can calm a caregiver, decrease their heart rate and improve their mood.
- E – Energy: To be effective in their own work, a caregiver must be afforded time to re-energize. Even an automobile won’t run on empty.
- S – Space: Getting away from the caregiving situation for even just a few hours helps with relaxation and brings a renewed sense of purpose.
- P – Pleasure: A caregiver must remember that they have the right to enjoy life even if they feel their care recipient cannot do the same.
- I – Identity: A caregiver must be intentional in maintaining a sense of self.
- T – Time away from the situation allows a caregiver to see it more clearly and upon return, adjustments can be made to improve the experience.
- E – Engagement: Social isolation can be a huge problem for caregivers. It’s important to take the time to engage with friends and family by sharing lunch, taking a shopping trip or a walk in the park.
These are just some of the benefits of respite care for the caregiver. Respite care also enables the family caregiver to run errands in a much more relaxed fashion, to maintain their health by allowing regular visits with their own physician and time to attend support groups.
What If My Loved One Won’t Accept Respite Care?
There are ways to “ease into” respite care in such a way that your loved one will be more accepting of it. For example, Faithful Servants Care may send a caregiver to help with laundry or other light housekeeping, or to prepare a meal. As your loved one becomes more comfortable with their presence, he or she can transition into the companion mode, and the caregiver can depart for a while.