Taking care of your elder loved ones may give you a sense of pride and peace. Caring for a loved one may be your happy place when you feel most comfortable. However, there is no shame in admitting that sometimes, after days and weeks with no time off, you need some me-time.
What is respite care?
Respite care allows caregivers to break from their daily, full-time duties. Many people willingly take on the responsibility of caring for their elders. For some, it’s less of choice. Either way, fulfilling someone else’s needs 24 hours a day can be tough.
Giving yourself a break from the everyday routine and letting someone else do it for you for once can be a great feeling. It does not diminish your love for your elders or whoever is dependent on you in the slightest bit.
Why would you need respite care?
Respite care allows you to take a break from caring for your loved one full-time. Everyone needs a break here and there. Taking care of someone’s every need can become very tiring.
If you work a job, come home and take care of their parents or any other family member, or even stay at home all day taking care of a loved one, you must feel worn out at some point or the other.
That feeling of helplessness, uneasiness, and just plain exhaustion is a natural response. It is our bodies telling us that we need to slow down and take a moment for ourselves.
How it works
Once you decide you need some alone time to catch up with yourself, you can start thinking about the options you have. That is where respite care comes in. Your loved one will be in the safe and trusty hands of a trained professional.
Where does respite care take place?
Respite care can take place where you and your loved one are most comfortable. It can take place in the comfort of your own house, or you can send your loved one to a special day-care-like facility that specializes in respite care.
Another option to consider is a residential center. Residential centers that offer the facility of overnight stays usually also offer respite care facilities.
It is a good idea to do some research about the facilities near you and what exactly they offer. Once you are well informed, you can make a decision that suits you and your loved one the best.
Some Benefits of respite care
There are various benefits of respite care. You will get some time off from taking care of someone else’s needs for the most part of the day. This will allow you to focus on yourself and your own needs as well, which may get neglected otherwise.
Having a professional come and take care of your loved one can also be beneficial in the way that they will have professionals looking after them, and they will be properly cared for in medical terms too. Sometimes emergencies may occur, and you may need to rush your loved one to the hospital.
In the situation that your loved one is under respite care already, they will be in good hands and will be taken care of at the earliest, without any precious time being sacrificed.
There is a good chance professional respite care workers will do the job better than you if you are not trained the same way. They may be better equipped to take care of your loved one, as they will be experienced in many scenarios. The care will also be 24/7, which is important for people who are incapacitated.
Who respite care is for
Some people are dependent on others. This may be because they have an illness, a disability, or simply due to old age. A person who does not have the capacity to look after themselves will need someone else to do it for them. In most cases, it is the next of kin who takes on the responsibility.
Sometimes, however, elder family members may be sent to special homes and facilities that can take care of them adequately. This is especially true in circumstances where the individual has specific medical needs that cannot be catered for at home.
It may be a risk to keep a loved one home when they have needs only a doctor or nurse can fulfill. Additionally, it may not be feasible for a family member to take adequate care of the individual in question.
This may be because of work or other commitments, and thus, that individual is sent to a facility more suited to their needs.
However, respite care is also for those people who take care of their loved ones on a day-to-day basis but need a day or two to fulfill some other commitments. For example, a son who works and takes care of his aged father may need to invoke respite care services for a business trip he would need to leave the city for.
Specific examples of who may need respite care
Many people grow old but are still able to function just like normal. They can take care of themselves. They can feed themselves, bathe themselves and take their medication on time. However, some people may not be able to do that.
This can be because of illnesses developed due to old age, but it is not exclusive to that. Some examples of people who may need respite care services are those who have Cancer, Alzheimer’s, an injury to the brain, or those at risk of experiencing a stroke. If people with such conditions are left alone with no care, they may be at risk of further injury or harm. This is where respite care services come in.
How long does respite care last?
Respite care does not have a definite time limit. It can be as long or as short as you and your loved one prefers. It can last just a few hours or a few days. It can even last for weeks, depending on your and your family’s needs.
Respite care can be of great benefit to those who avail of such services. Taking time off from caring for someone else will allow you to take care of yourself. This is a win-win situation for all, as you will be better suited to take care of your loved one once you are well rested and will be able to take the day by storm.