What Is Respite Care?

Looking after someone who is sick and disabled is a 24-hour job. Caring for someone is a challenging yet rewarding job, and it can leave the caregiver feeling physically and emotionally drained. Caregivers also need a break to take care of their own needs. Respite care is a fancy name referring to the short-term break given to caregivers. It helps relieve the stress that the job brings to the caregiver, as well as to the person receiving the care.

What does respite mean?

Respite gives the caregiver time off from his or her caregiver duties. During this break, someone else cares for the senior that is cared for. Family and friends can provide respite care, or you can use the services of a care facility. If the senior needs medical assistance, a trained professional may be the best option for respite care.

What Is Respite Care?

How long can it last?

The length of respite care is up to you. It can be as short as an afternoon break. It can be for the whole weekend, or even the whole week. The caregiver can use this time to refresh and recharge his or her “batteries”.

A well-rested caregiver can give better services compared to a disgruntled and tired one. Regular respite care will also help the senior get used to having someone else care for them. This is important for emergencies where the usual caregiver cannot be able to care for him.

Types of Respite Care

There are many types of respite care. Below are some of the common respite care services available:

  • Emergency Respite

Emergency respite is meant to provide temporary care for the relief of primary caregivers in            times of emergencies. It can be used when the caregiver becomes ill, or cannot provide care services due to pressing and urgent reasons.

  • In-Home Respite

There are three respite care types under this group. These are home-based services, sitter-companion services, and consumer-directed respite.

  • Home-Based Services – These can be provided through a public health nursing agency, a social service department, a volunteer group, a private nonprofit organization, or home health agency. These services are provided by trained and licensed employees. It is available 24 hours a day, all year round.
  • Sitter-Companion Services – These services are provided by individuals trained to provide care for seniors or adults with special needs. These services are usually organized by specialized agencies or service organizations.
  • Consumer-Directed Respite – This is the same as having a friend or relative care for your seniors. The family selects the person to provide respite care, and he or she must be trained by a respite program. These services can be paid or unpaid.

Out-of-Home Respite

This type of respite gives the senior an opportunity to experience new surroundings and meet new peers. Transportation may be required and special equipment needed to move the senior. It can be done in Respite Centers, Family Care Homes, Adult Day Programs, and other Senior Care Facilities.

Choose Only the Best for Seniors

Whatever type of respite care you choose, planning and research is important. Make sure that the respite care service, program, or facility is licensed in your state. You can request for credentials, insurance, or experience of the care provider. Discuss in advance the needs of the senior, to make the transition smooth.

Plan the break in advance to help avoid stress and waiting lists for the services that you need. For the case of emergency respite, care may be available at short notice.

Written by The Village Of Bedford Walk, a senior living community in Columbia, MO.

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