Companion & Respite Care
Broadly speaking, the idea of respite care comes from acknowledging that caring for other people can feel like a full-time job – and that caregivers deserve a break.
Whether you’re tending to an elderly loved one or someone who is sick or disabled, being a caregiver is work. There’s no doubt about that. From getting prescriptions filled to tending to housekeeping, to providing driving services and emotional support, it can take a lot of labor to provide for your loved one.
In fact, it can be so physically and emotionally challenging to be a caregiver for a loved one that many people ultimately suffer from burnout, or end up getting sick or worn down themselves.
That’s where respite care comes in. In practical terms, respite care is about giving relief to caregivers. It’s about hiring a professional to step in so that you can take a break and rest, recharge, or refocus on your own life, for however long you need.
Whether you need to take care of things in your own household, take a vacation, exercise, or get some work done, bringing on a caregiver can help make life easier in a pinch.
How do We work?
When you need time off from caring for your loved one around-the-clock, that’s where respite care starts. You can schedule care for as long as you and your loved one may need, whether that’s just an afternoon, an entire day, or a few days per week.
There are some group respite care programs available at community centers, adult daycare centers, or assisted living facilities.
But for many people, in-home care might be the best option. In many cases, it’s less expensive, more convenient, and makes things easier for you and for your loved one. This way, your family member gets to stay in the comfort of his or her home, a place where they may feel more comfortable and secure.
Your in-home respite care provider can help fill many different roles at once. For starters, your caregiver might act as a fun, friendly companion, providing great company and helping your loved one stay socially fulfilled and engaged. At the same time, respite care providers can help your loved one in countless other ways:
Assist with activities of daily living, like bathing, grooming, dressing, using the bathroom
Help with meal prep and eating
Aid in light housekeeping, like dusting, vacuuming, doing the laundry, or shopping
Offer medication reminders
Provide driving services to transport your loved one to appointments, grocery stores, and other errands
Another thing to consider?
Some caregivers will be able to go to your loved one, even if they’re staying in a hospital or rehab center. This way, you can provide a watchful eye and the comforts of home, even when your loved one has to spend a little time away.
The Benefits of Respite Care
There’s nothing selfish about needing some relief from caring for your loved one. In many cases, bringing on a professional caregiver can help give you a necessary break, and may help you avoid the stress and exhaustion that comes with caring for someone around the clock.
Remember, taking care of someone else doesn’t mean that you have to stop caring for yourself! And you and your loved one might both reap the benefits. Taking some time to refuel, relax, or knock some things off of your personal “to-do” list can ultimately help you be a better caregiver. Even a short break every now and then can make all the difference, giving you new energy and focus when you return to caregiving. At the same time, your loved one may benefit from getting the chance to connect with someone new. What’s more, your professional care provider may be able to be there at times when you just can’t – which could make all the difference in a crisis.