Respite care and its benefits
The demands of caring for a loved one can be overwhelming. If you find yourself in this position, seeking some form of respite care may relieve part of the burden and help reduce emotional distress.
In the United States, almost 25 percent of all adults provide care to another adult in a family residence. Seventy percent of these individuals care for someone who is 50+ years old. Many report feeling overwhelmed as a result of the demands their role as caregiver places on them.
If you are a caregiver, you may benefit from a range of respite care services. Respite care is the provision of short-term, temporary relief to those who are caring for family members. Some of the benefits of respite include reducing emotional distress and the likelihood of nursing home placement for your loved one. Here are two easy ways to access respite care:
• Ask family members for help: Ask a family member (sibling, husband or children) to watch your loved one for a few hours. Use this time to do something you really enjoy to take your mind away from the daily caregiving demands. Start making a list of people you know you can count on to support your caregiving efforts. Let them in on your plan and see what they will commit to -- from cooking dinner one day a week to watching your loved one while you go to the gym.
• Contact a local adult day care center: The goal of these centers is to provide the caregiver with physical, emotional, financial and mental relief while the care recipient is looked after.
Remember, respite does not always have to take the entire day. Having someone watch your loved one for a few hours while you do something you truly enjoy can make a world of difference.