Often uncounted by health care statisticians are the millions of Americans who dedicate themselves to caring for their loved ones with a serious illness or disability. In fact, more than one in six Americans working full-time or part-time report assisting with the care of an elderly or disabled family member, relative, or friend.1 These unsung heroes devote countless hours and boundless energy caring for their wives, husbands, parents, or children. However, being a caregiver can be very draining both physically and emotionally—especially when there is little or no relief from the caregiving duties.
Yet if caregivers don’t take much-needed breaks, there is a real possibility they will experience burnout and become sick themselves, leaving them unable to properly care for their loved one. To help caregivers get the rest and relief they need, many private duty home care companies offer respite care, which provides caregivers with the assistance they need to maintain their health and energy levels.
What is respite care?
Simply put, respite care includes non-medical services provided in a client’s own home that relieves the full-time caregiver for as little as a few hours or as long as several days. For example, respite care can be as simple as acting as a companion for several hours while the full-time caregiver plays a round of golf. At other times, respite care can include taking over the caregiving duties while the full-time caregiver takes a vacation to recharge their batteries.
Services that can be provided are wide-ranging and flexible. In some cases, assistance with tasks such as bathing and other personal care may be all that is needed, while others include companionship, meal preparation, light housekeeping and laundry, errands and shopping, and transportation to appointments.
What are the benefits of respite care?
The benefits of respite care are many. First and foremost, respite care provides full-time caregivers with the break they need to renew their energy levels. Second, respite care allows recipients to remain in the comfort of their own homes, with respite care workers coming to the home to provide the needed services. In addition, respite care can be tailored to a client’s unique needs and environment—making it a flexible and cost-effective service.
The decision to seek respite care from a private duty home care provider may the best decision a full-time caregiver can make. Without it, caregivers run the risk of both physical and emotional burnout. Look for an agency with a wide range of flexible services, delivered by qualified, trained, compassionate home care providers who are experienced in providing respite care.
By building in regular relief, caregivers can take some time to refresh themselves, while having the piece of mind that their loved ones are in good hands.