What is Respite Care? Respite care provides short-term relief for primary caregivers. It can be arranged for just an afternoon or for several days or weeks. Care can be provided at home, in a healthcare facility, or at an adult day center.
Why? Respite care for loved ones provides short-term breaks for caregivers that can relieve their stress, renew their energy and restore a sense of balance to their lives. Respite care provides a period of freedom from caregiving duties, while loved ones continue to receive the care they require in a safe, caring and professional environment.
Primary caregivers for an aging loved one, may experience some form of stress or burnout. It’s natural for caregivers to become so involved in taking care of someone else that they tend to allow their own needs to get put aside. The problem is- if the caregiver becomes ill or hospitalized then who will be taking care of their loved one?
Caregiver burnout can be associated with serious health issues including depression, and yet burnout is still not recognized as a real health issue in the eyes of many caregivers. Families and communities need to develop sustainable care plans that do not just rely on a single individual.
Respite care will also allow the caregiver to maintain their own lives; to run errands, see their own doctors, participate in social activities, and possibly attend support groups with other caregivers.
Even when caregivers do recognize their need for respite, they might not seek it. For many, it’s hard to carve out the time or money to arrange respite care.
Who Provides Respite? Respite services may be provided in many different formats, home health agencies, community agencies, friend, family, Adult day services and skilled care communities.
Respite care can be as simple as a caregiver accepting offers of help from friends and other family members. Respite care can be certain days of the week scheduled when their loved one is at Adult Day Services. The length of respite care can be as little as 15 minutes to multiple days or weeks. Respite services in a long-term care community can be scheduled if the caregiver must be out of town for an extended period or is having medical procedures done and needs extended recovery time.
Respite care should not be considered a luxury or a weakness, but a necessity for the well-being of the both the caregivers and their aging loved ones.
AgeSmart Community Resources has a participant directed Respite Program that reimburses caregivers up to $100 a month to pay for respite services. Caregivers chose the people/agencies they want to provide respite services and determine the amount the Respite Providers are paid. Caregivers submit a Verification of Services form to AgeSmart at the end of the month and funds are safely reimbursed through electronic deposit to the caregiver. To qualify for the Respite Program, caregivers and care receivers must live in the same household, care receivers must be over the age of 60, younger if they have early onset dementias, and be assessed by the Southwestern Illinois Visiting Nurses Services for Seniors before starting the program. All persons providing Respite Care for the Caregiver cannot live in the same household.
For more information about AgeSmart’s Respite program please contact Chris or Melanie at 618-222-2561, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.