Aging can come with some debilitating health conditions such as dementia and arthritis. These diseases make it difficult for seniors to carry out their daily activities as before and may require the assistance of caregivers. Many times, family members become caregivers despite their own obligations to their career or personal life.
While caregiving can be personally rewarding, continuous work without a break can have a negative impact on a caregiver’s health. From stress to depression and lack of personal time, caregiving may take a physical, mental, and emotional toll. Some caregivers may even forgo seeing their doctor when necessary due to time constraints which could lead to their own health complications.
It is very important for family caregivers to take breaks but learning how can be difficult. Oftentimes, caregivers can feel overwhelmed with responsibilities and sometimes may even feel guilty for needing some time for themselves. A family caregiver may desire to take a break to prevent burnout but if there is no one available to take over, their time off may be postponed. At times like these, family caregivers should consider professional respite care.
What is Respite Care?
Respite care refers to temporary care, by professional caregivers, organized for a client while their family caregiver is away. Respite care from in-home care providers can last anywhere from just a few hours to weeks at a time – it can be a one-time or regular service. Your loved one should be informed of the new arrangement and involved in the process whenever possible. Clients and their loved ones should exercise caution and only engage professionals from vetted in-home care services such as AmeriCare. Established in-home care services can help make your loved one feel safe and comfortable during the switch and provide peace of mind for all involved.
Why is Respite Care Important to Family Caregivers?
Respite care can help family caregivers in the following ways:
It Can Prevent Emotional Breakdown
Family caregivers can experience a range of negative feelings such as fear and guilt due to a loved one’s condition. Such emotions can have devastating health effects if harbored for long periods of time. Respite care gives caregivers time to seek necessary help for their emotional and psychological health. This can be via counseling or engaging in relaxation activities such as meditation.
It Provides Care Alternatives in Case of Illness, Injury, or Death
When family caregivers fall ill or suffer injuries, they have to prioritize their own health. This may put their loved one’s health in danger if no other person is available to take their place. With respite care, caregivers can take their time to recover fully without disrupting the caregiving routine of their loved one.
Respite Care Allows Family Caregivers a Chance to Recharge
Performance and motivation decrease when you engage in an activity for too long without taking a break. Caregivers need to take breaks to recharge and rejuvenate. During the course of their break, caregivers may gain a fresh perspective and develop better ways of caring for their loved one. Arranging a much-needed break is easily done with the aid of professional in-home caregivers such as AmeriCare.
It Provides Time for Caregivers to Handle Personal Business
Family caregivers generally have a life outside of taking care of their loved one. Providing care full time even for a short period can affect their personal business and family responsibilities. Respite care affords family caregivers the time to manage personal business without feeling guilty.
Respite Care Caters to an Immediate Change of Plans
An unexpected event may change a family caregiver’s plans and take them away from their loved one more than they would like. This can leave your loved one vulnerable. Respite care, however, makes it possible to deal with an emergency effectively, allowing family caregivers to find a professional in-home care provider easily while handling the other challenges of the emergency.
Over time, unceasing caregiving can be tiring, emotionally, and even physically damaging. Respite care gives caregivers enough time to go on vacation, engage in hobbies, or meet up with friends without having to explain their reasons. Respite care comes with a lot of health benefits for the family caregiver and their loved ones and should be considered for optimal care planning and delivery.