What is Respite Care?

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By SeniorAdvisor.com Staff

The essential meaning of respite care is to support the caregivers via temporary institutional care for their loved ones. Respite care can be provided to a dependent, disabled, or elderly person. It is also known as short-term care and gives you (the caregiver) the opportunity to get a break from your caregiving role while ensuring your loved one stays on track with their normal routine.

Respite care may be provided in short hourly increments, days, or even longer periods of time and also depends on your loved one’s specific needs, your own needs, as well as on the available services in your area and their price points.

Benefits of Respite Care

Respite care enables the caregiver to continue with his or her caring role for a longer period of time and help prevent burnout. It is designed to help families, by giving the caregiver time to slow down and focus on one’s physical and mental health. It may also be given informally by family members, friends, neighbors, or by formal services.

Some studies have shown that respite care helps sustain caregivers’ health and well being, reduces the possibility of neglect and abuse, delays, and avoids out-of-home placements. An additional benefit of respite care is the fact that it helps sustain marriages by reducing the likelihood of divorce.
Types of Respite Care

In-home respite care provides caregiving to the individual at their home.

Attends to the senior’s fundamental self help needs, usually provided by family members.
Assists the family on enabling the senior with development activities to be at home.
Relieves family members from the constant and heavy responsibility of providing care.
Gives appropriate supervision and care to protect the senior’s safety if a family member is not present.

Adult day center respite care provides daily care via licensed facilities and is predominantly used by caregivers who work during the day and need a place for their loved ones to socialize and receive care.

Specialized facility respite care provides highly effective and specialized care (such as for dementia or Alzheimer’s) at a licensed facility.

Emergency respite care provides help and care on an emergency basis. Many home care agencies, help centers, adult day care centers and respite care facilities offer this service.

Therapeutic respite care provides services for seniors and adults, mostly during business hours, but sometimes 24 hours a day. Therapeutic respite care facilities usually care for designated clients only and are not related to the family support centers.

Informal respite care is care given by a family member, relative, friend, or volunteer. It serves to allow the caregiver a brief break to run errands or simply be removed from the current caregiving role. This form of care may also be used during special events.

If you are a primary caregiver, take time to ensure that you are also mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy. Although getting respite care may feel like a daunting task plagued with guilt, it can be a good option to temporarily remove yourself from the situation to regain a renewed sense of well-being for you and your loved one.

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