The Benefits of Respite Care For You and Your Loved One

No matter how well you care for a loved one, the effects of stress on your own health and well-being, as well as your family’s, are important reasons to consider taking advantage of the benefits of respite care.

Most of the time, when we think of families that include someone who is elderly or has a disability, our attention turns to that particular person and the daily struggles they must face. Often we forget the sacrifices that the primary caregiver makes in order to care for their loved one, and how your role in the family may be detrimental to your personal well-being. That is where the benefits of respite care come in, allowing you to have help with your duties and provide a full realm of care for your loved one.

What is Respite Care?

Respite care is short-term professional care designed to give the primary caregiver a break from caregiving activities. Devoted caregivers may initially be resistant to giving up their responsibilities, worrying that it may be a sign of weakness. In fact, the benefits of respite care prove the exact opposite: Caregivers who request assistance from time to time give themselves the ability to return to their duties after some time away with more energy.

The phrase “short-term” can have a wide range of meanings. Respite care is a regularly scheduled service meant to meet non-medical care needs, and can be provided both inside and outside your loved one’s home. Respite care’s primary goal is to provide family support services, which can include a variety of activities meant to assist your loved with everyday tasks, such as:

  • Grocery shopping
  • Cooking and cleaning
  • Running errands
  • Bathing and getting dressed
  • Doing laundry
  • Enjoying hobbies
  • Completing other activities of daily living (ADLs)

Benefits of Respite Care

Unlike professionals trained to care for individuals with disabilities or long-term care needs, most people that care for their loved one do so without any specific training. Many times they find the role, and the stress, of being a caregiver thrust upon them. Over 16 million adults in the United States spend time caring for a family member with a disability. More than half of them, nearly 9 million people, have serious health issues of their own.

No matter how well you care for your loved one, the effects of stress on your own health and well-being are important reasons to consider respite care. If you experience the physical, emotional, and psychological toll that providing care is having on you, you have options.

Through your loved one’s Medicaid or health insurance provider, or even private pay, you can take advantage of the benefits of respite care in the way that makes the most sense for you and your family. But to be most effective for both you and your loved one, respite services need to be regular and purposeful, and not a once-in-a-while or last-ditch option, to provide a safe, caring environment. We often find that upon assessment, individuals often qualify for several different services which, when combined, often adds up to several hours a day of support.

What are the Types of Respite Care?

In-home or home-based respite care is provided through a public health, for profit, or nonprofit agency that assigns professionally-trained individuals to make home visits and attend to your family member’s needs. Another in-home model of care is called companion services, or sitter services, which provides companionship for children or adults with disabilities.

If you are looking for out-of-home options, it is highly suggested that you consider adult day care services rather than assisted living facility care. Adult day care services are a community-based option, which allows your loved one to have the support, stay involved with their peers, and experience cognitive and emotional stimulation on a daily basis.

Finding the Balance

Depending on your family’s need, each particular situation will require different levels of care. While in-home care usually provides the most benefits of respite care, sometimes it is necessary to utilize an out-of-home option as well. These options have their own benefits, especially to an individual who is getting ready to transition into or out of caring for themselves.

Since 1989, Integrity, Inc. has been providing Central Arkansas families with the important benefits of respite care. We provide home-based care, companion services, and adult development services so you have options that work best for you and your family. Contact us today so we can help you find the perfect respite care program for you and your loved one.

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