What is Respite Care and why it is Important?

Author: Stacy's Helping Hand |

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Taking care of elderly is not easy as you have to look after them all the time. You need to cook for them, help them with meals, take care of their hygiene and bathing, take them to visit places, doctor’s appointments, shopping and other everyday activities.

What is Respite Care?

The people taking care of the elderly are called caregivers. They work to provide care for the elderly either in their home, your home or in facilities. Sometimes the elderly become frail and do not take care of themselves very well which causes a lot of stress and worry for their relatives. If a family member is the caregiver, they need special care and treatment as well. A caregiver needs time to relax and get refreshed. This helps prevent burnout, better care for the elderly person and the overall emotional and physical well being for the caregiver. Respite Care is a great option for family caregivers, who work every day caring for an elderly relative and do not get time for to relax. With respite, a caregiver can get a break and then return to their care giving refreshed, relaxed and able to care for their loved one better.

Why Respite Care is Important?

It is not only important for the caregivers but also for the elderly who are being cared for by them. When a caregiver is completely relaxed, he or she will be able to concentrate more and will be able to perform better. Respite Care is available in communities and through home care agencies. Caregivers, even if they don’t think so, need a break. They need to maintain their life and look for ways to relax so that they maintain their health. Many times caregivers wear themselves out because they feel like they should be able to do it all.

At a minimum, it is very important for a caregiver to take time each and every day for themselves (at least 10-30 minutes!). Otherwise, a caregiver becomes exhausted and many times this is when elder abuse can occur. Especially if the person they are caring for has dementia, challenging behaviors or high physical care needs. If a caregiver has a chance to get respite, then they have the energy to identify why my loved one behaving this way is and what is the unmet need. If the primary caregiver doesn’t hire someone on a regular basis for respite care, it can be challenging to find respite in your own home. It works well if there is a specific area in your home that is your private sanctuary. You can either have a whole room for yourself, a reading nook, or even take a relaxing bubble bath. The options may seem limited, but where there is a will there is a way. If you are a caregiver, you really must create a place, where you can spend some time alone and just relax. This will help you clear your head and lower your stress. Then you will be able to focus on your loved one and their needs.

The benefits of respite care are not only beneficial for the caregiver but also for the elderly person. The re-energized mind and body can work much better than an exhausted and dull mind, you should not forget that if you don’t take care of yourself properly, then you are already causing a negative effect on your loved one. There may be is a real need to get professional help from a respite care center. This way you could also have your home to yourself, if you are not going to go on vacation or can’t afford to. Have a stay-at-home vacation. Catch up on your sleep; go to coffee, dinner and/or movies with a friend. Take a bubble bath, read a book, get a massage, go to a concert or listen to music. The main thing is to relax, do what will re-energize you. It is different for everyone. This will all help you a lot in your care giving because you will be fresh and active.

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Respite care is an important aspect that every caregiver needs in order to provide the best care for their elderly loved one. For more information about the respite care or for free consultation about assisted living, visit Stacys Helping Hand, Inc.



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