Whether by profession or by choice, caregiving has always been more than just a job for many caregivers. This calling brings immense satisfaction and completeness that you cannot find in any other endeavor.
But however fulfilling it may be, it is bound to get challenging over time, especially if you neglect to take care of your mental and emotional health. As a result, many families and professional caregivers experience caregiver burnout.
So when this happens, who can caregivers depend on when they are now the ones who need help and care? Now, this is where respite care enters the scene.
Top respite care communities aim to provide respite or reprieve to caregivers who need to take a much-needed break by taking over their caregiving responsibilities. This allows caregivers ample breathing space to take care of themselves for a few days or weeks.
If you or someone you know needs a little break in their caregiving job, then respite care is for you. Read on to know everything about respite care, what to look for, and how to find the best respite care community.
What is Respite Care
Respite care refers to a type of temporary and short-term break from one’s elder care caregiving duties to tend to their own physical, mental, and emotional needs.
This happens by looking for a respite care provider who will then refer another professional caregiver to assume your duties temporarily. This set-up will enable you to take the rest you need without compromising your patient or loved one’s well-being.
Is Respite Right For You
Maintaining your overall health is one of the most important ingredients in successfully managing your role as a family or professional caregiver. You need to keep the balance between personal life and caregiving duties so that you won’t get sucked into the dark depths of stress and burnout.
The demanding job of a caregiver really does take a toll on their health, specifically mentally and emotionally. But how will you know if you need respite care? Simple. If you’re not happy with what you are doing anymore and the stress is already showing on your physical body, then it’s time to tap into respite care for a much-needed break.
Some of the services top respite care providers give are:
- Assistance in the daily living activities of the patient, such as eating, walking, and bathing.
- Household tasks and maintenance
- Primary medical care, such as medication administration
- Personal attention, support, and companionship
- Transportation to doctor’s appointments or therapy sessions.
What to Look for in a Respite Care Community or Respite Providers
Knowing and accepting that you need help is the start of your healing as a person and as a caregiver.
But before looking for respite care providers, it’s essential to know what to look for in a respite care agency or community first. Here are some factors in determining if a respite provider is the most suitable one for you.
1. Type of Care Available
Many types of respite care options exist to cater to the special and unique needs of different caregivers and their patients. Some of the most common ones include:
- Professional In-Home Care - A professional in-home caregiver can provide respite care on an ”as-needed” basis so the original caregiver can take a day or two to rest and enjoy. In-home care consists of versatile services and a highly customizable schedule that benefits the burned-out caregiver.
- Adult Day Care - This is a place where you can drop off your senior loved one or patient and have someone look out for them temporarily while you take a break, run errands, or attend an important event.
- Temporary Senior Living Stay - Also known as residential respite care, happens inside senior living communities that offer this service for caregivers. Some senior facilities only provide respite care to in-house caregivers, but others provide respite services for family caregivers.
There is also an informal type of respite care wherein you get other family members to assist your duties as a family caregiver. For example, trusted loved ones or friends could step in for you and help you handle the challenging caregiving responsibilities.
2. Licensing and References
Before signing a contract with the first respite care facility you stumbled upon, make sure to screen them first. Respite care agencies and facilities should have a legitimate license to operate and certifications for their care providers.
If your loved one or patient requires advanced medical care, then you should make sure that the specific care provider has an updated license to render that particular medical service.
Additionally, you can conduct an interview and a background check on the past references of the care provider given by the respite care facility.
Lastly, evaluate the cost of your potential respite care facilities and see if it fits your budget. You should also inquire to see if they offer discounts or accept specific health insurance.
How to Find a Top Respite Care Facility
Once you know what to look for, you need to start hunting for the best respite care facility that provides the services your senior patient or loved one requires. Some options to help you locate a reputable care provider include:
- Senior Living Directory - Online senior living directories from credible sites like My Living Choice provides an extensive database where you can easily search for elder care and senior living options near your location. We already have the basic information (e.g., website, type of respite care provided, and available services) of each facility, so you won’t have to scour the internet for details.
- Recommendations - You can also seek advice from your senior’s GP, other family members, and friends if they know a respite care facility or provider.
- Agencies and Individual Providers - Home care agencies may refer you to a respite care provider that can cater to the types of respite your elder needs. You can also directly contact, hire, or make arrangements with an independent care provider that you know.
Taking great care of yourself allows you to provide the best kind of support to your senior loved one. So, seek a top respite care provider and see how it changes your caregiving journey for the better.