Respite care provides short-term caregiving relief and support to family caregivers. Home respite care services can give family caregivers a well-deserved break, time to rest, and the opportunity to concentrate on their personal needs.
Whether the family caregiver requires respite care for a few hours a day or three days per week, trained and experienced caregivers can step in and provide services to help relieve the primary family caregiver from their caregiving tasks and avoid putting their loved ones in assisted living. These caregiver relief services can reduce the risk of caregiver burnout, as well as its impact on the primary caregiver’s health and the safety and health of the person receiving care. Respite care services are crucial for family caregivers, who so often single-handedly provide care and assistance to their loved ones on their own time. If a loved one’s condition worsens, the family caregiver’s duties can easily spiral into a 24/7 schedule that is hard to manage alone.
What are the Benefits of Respite Care?
Respite services can benefit primary caregivers who are caring for a loved one with a neurodegenerative illness, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Respite care can be critical during the middle and later stages of AD when caregiving tasks often become challenging for family caregivers. During the middle stage of AD, a patient may become increasingly anxious, short-tempered, and exhibit physical and emotional outbursts. Activities of daily living and self-care, such as bathing, grooming, dressing, and eating, can become more challenging as the disease progresses. Wandering and getting lost is a significant safety concern in the middle stages of dementia, reports the Alzheimer’s Association. Although symptoms of dementia are not always the same for every patient with AD or other progressive dementias, taking care of a person with dementia can be exhausting for family caregivers. The challenges of caring for a loved one with dementia 24/7 make it crucial that family caregivers receive respite care services.
In addition to providing assistance for those caring for persons with dementia, respite care can offer relief to primary caregivers of those with Parkinson’s disease (PD). It can be especially useful for loved ones with PD who need support with activities of daily living or those who cannot live alone, as in stage four of PD, as well as for those who are bedridden and require care for all activities, as in stage five of PD. For information about PD stages and symptoms, please visit the Parkinson’s Foundation weblink at https://www.parkinson.org/Understanding-Parkinsons/What-is-Parkinsons/Stages-of-Parkinsons.
Why is Respite Care Important for Caregivers?
Respite care services can help reduce the risk of caregiver burnout, which can also mitigate health and safety risks that could affect the person receiving care. As caregiving demands rise, a family caregiver’s tasks and burden of care also increase, especially when providing 24/7 care for a loved one with a debilitating or progressive illness.
Chronic stress, lack of rest, physical fatigue, and isolation can impact primary caregivers’ health and reduce their capacity to deliver the quality of care they want for their loved ones. Prolonged stress may lead to high blood pressure, which can raise the risk of a stroke, heart disease, or heart attack, reports the American Heart Association. A study published in the journal The Lancet in 2017, highlighted in the same American Heart Association report, suggests possible links between stress and heart disease. According to a 2020 report presented by the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Caregiving in the U.S. 2020, nearly four in 10 caregivers consider their caregiving situation highly stressful. Thirty-six percent rated their stress at four or five on a five- point scale rating. Primary caregivers often feel isolated, especially when trying to provide 24/7 care for a family member. In cases like these, it is difficult for most family caregivers to leave their homes unless they have a dependable family member or long-time friend who can step in and help for a short time. However, as symptoms and patient care become more demanding, some family caregivers may hesitate to leave their loved ones, which can escalate their own isolation and increase their risk of caregiver burnout. Having a respite caregiver will give the family caregiver the peace of mind they need to do things like run errands, go to the grocery store, get some alone time, or take a much-needed vacation from their caregiving duties These breaks are so important for caregivers' mental health and allow them to provide better care for their loved ones once they have taken care of their own needs first.
What Do Our Respite Caregivers Do?
Duties include but are not limited to the following:
Light housekeeping like unloading the dishwasher and doing laundry
Arranging visits with family members
Help with medication
These short-term breaks can help to relieve stress, restore energy, and promote balance in your life. It also enables you to share the responsibility for caregiving while getting the much-needed support for yourself and your loved one.
How Do I Choose a Respite Care Provider?
When researching respite care services offered by area home care providers, consider the following questions to help narrow your search in finding a top home care agency:
Is the provider a home care agency, an independent contractor agency, or a private duty registry? Home care agencies will take care of payroll, federal and state taxes, Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance. However, if you hire directly from a registry, you may become the employer and assume the risks, liabilities, and responsibilities associated with being an employer.
Is the home care agency licensed to provide services in the state?
Is the home care agency insured? Is it bonded?
How many years has the home care agency provided services in the area?
What are the requirements to work as a companion caregiver, a certified nursing assistant (CNA), or a home health aide (HHA) for the home care agency?
What type of background checks are required for caregivers?
Does the home care agency require employee drug testing?
How does the home care agency evaluate caregivers?
What type of training do caregivers receive?
Do caregivers have 24/7 access to a nurse?
What is included in the respite care services? Does the service include transportation?
What is the minimum number of respite care hours needed to sign up for respite care services?
Are There Any Other Care Options Besides Respite Care?
Respite care services may provide some relief for caregivers, giving the family caregiver the opportunity to take a break and gain some personal time, even if the service is only for a short period. However, if the patient’s needs increase or change, family caregivers may want their loved ones to receive more hours of service to ensure continuity of care. Other care plan options family caregivers may want to consider are the following:
Chronic Disease Care
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care
End-of-Life Support Care
For more information about these care options, call us directly at (407) 628-4357 and ask to speak with a member of our care team.
Why Consider Senior Helpers as Your Respite Home Care Provider?
When you begin your search for an in-home respite care agency that can provide dependable and compassionate care services for your family loved ones, we encourage you to consider Senior Helpers Orlando. Over the past 12 years, we have built an outstanding care team of dedicated professionals committed to delivering the highest level of home care services possible. Our trained and compassionate caregivers are ready to provide the right level of care to meet your loved one’s needs. Ensuring that your senior loved one is well cared for, happy, and safe is a top priority for our Senior Helpers Orlando care team.
The following are a few good reasons to consider Senior Helpers:
Senior Helpers is accredited by the Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.
Senior Helpers is certified as a Great Place to Work. In 2019, Senior Helpers became the first national in-home senior care provider to achieve this recognition and has obtained this achievement for three consecutive years.