What is Respite Care?August 16, 2022
Acting as a primary caregiver for an older adult is a rewarding job. Each day, you are the reason that an elderly loved one can live in the comfort of their home, despite their illness or disability. That alone should be enough for you to go home feeling proud of yourself.
While there is so much good that comes with being a family caregiver, it can be a stressful job. Caring for a parent while juggling a career and child care can quickly lead to burnout. For many caregivers, admitting that instills a sense of guilt—however, it is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone needs a break now and again from caring for their loved one to rejuvenate oneself. This is where respite care comes in.
What is respite care?
Respite care is the short-term relief for a primary caregiver. It can be as short as a few hours a day to as long as a few days a week, depending on the primary caregiver’s needs. Some call upon the help of a respite caregiver before going on vacation, while others might call for assistance for a day off.
Sometimes, respite care can come in the form of a friend or family member stepping up. However, to ensure an elderly loved one is receiving the best care possible, you should consider hiring the assistance of a trained in-home caregiver. While they may have never met your family member, they understand all the intricacies that come with providing care to a senior.
What services can an in-home caregiver offer?
An in-home caregiver can provide your elderly loved one assistance with activities of daily living, or ADLs. These refer to the variety of self-care activities we must all partake in on a day-to-day basis to ensure all our personal needs are taken care of, which include:
- Personal Care: A caregiver can assist a senior with their personal care needs, such as bathing, grooming, dressing, and toileting.
- Meal preparation: When cooking grows to be difficult or undesirable, a caregiver can take that weight off a senior’s shoulders. They can meal plan, grocery shop, cook, and clean up after the meal.
- Medication reminders and management: Keeping track of the various medications and supplements one must take can confuse seniors. A caretaker can remind their client when to take their medication, and how much.
- Light housekeeping: Keeping one’s home clean is not only daunting but exhausting. A caregiver can help with keeping a senior’s kitchen, bathroom, and living areas tidy.
- Laundry: This core involves more bending and lifting of heavy loads than one might think. With an in-home caregiver, clients can be certain their clothes are clean.
- Errands: Some seniors should not be driving. Others struggle to get around due to mobility problems. Whatever the issue is, a caretaker can help take care of errands.
- Brain games/activities: Keeping mentally sharp is crucial to the overall wellness of seniors. Caregivers can help exercise their brains with games, puzzles, and other activities.
- Companionship and social interaction: While many seniors prefer to live in their own homes, they can feel isolated on their own. At-home aides can offer the social interaction they need.
What CAN’T a respite caregiver offer?
An important thing to note about respite care is that their in-home help cannot provide medical care. If a senior has a specific condition that requires the administration of medical services, it should be handled by a medical professional.
Otherwise, an in-home caregiver can take care of all the activities of daily living you already provide as the primary caregiver. With respite care, you can rest easy knowing your loved one’s needs are properly managed.
Another positive to receiving respite care is receiving a fresh pair of eyes on your daily routine. When acting as an unpaid, untrained caregiver, making a daily regimen for your loved one can be intimidating. A professional caregiver can give insight into your loved one’s daily routine and potentially offer tips for ways to handle problems more efficiently and effectively.
How to introduce the idea of respite care to a family member
As addressed above, there is no shame in receiving help for all the home care tasks you take care of on a daily basis. However, discussing your need for respite with your elderly loved one can be difficult.
Make sure your loved one knows that your need for additional help has nothing to do with them. With all that you juggle in your daily life, it’s important that you receive some help from time to time for your own mental health. Illustrate to them that by having a break, you’ll be able to provide better quality care in the long run. It will prove beneficial to both of you.
Home Care Powered by AUAF offers skilled caregivers
If you realize you require respite care, give us a call. For more than 25 years, our trained staff has assisted seniors in the greater Chicago area in living in the comfort of their homes. Our compassionate staff offers full-time and respite care alike, so seniors of any care level can receive the support they require.
For more information on our staff and our services, call us at 773-274-9262.
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