Millions of Americans provide unpaid assistance each year to elderly family, friends, and neighbors to help them remain in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. Sometimes these caregivers need time off to relax or take care of other responsibilities. Whether it’s for a few hours a week to run errands or a few weeks a year to take a much-needed vacation, respite care offers you the chance reduce stress, restore energy and keep your life in balance. It provides the family caregivers with the break they need, and also ensures that their elderly loved one is still receiving the attention that he or she needs.
In-home respite care: Generally speaking, in-home respite care involves the following four types of services for the more impaired older person:
- Companion services to help the family caregiver supervise, entertain, or just visit with the senior when he or she is lonely and wants company.
- Homemaker services to assist with housekeeping chores, preparing meals, or shopping.
- Personal care services to help the aged individual bath, get dressed, go to the bathroom, and/or exercise.
- Skilled care services to assist the family caregiver in tending to the senior’s medical needs, such as when administering medications.
When evaluating a respite care program, family members should check to see if it is licensed by the state where they live and if the caregivers have the qualifications necessary for the job. You may believe that you should be able to “do it all. Seeking help does not make you a failure. It’s important to remember that respite services benefit your loved one as well as the caregiver.