Respite Care Critical for Long-Term Family Caregivers

Respite Care Critical for Long-Term Family Caregivers

More than 65 million family caregivers, 29 percent of the U.S. population, spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their chronically ill, disabled or aging loved ones each year, according to the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA). November is recognized as National Family Caregivers Month by the NFCA and is a time each year to thank, support, educate and empower those who selflessly devote their time and energy in their roles as family caregivers.

Every day, family caregivers assist loved ones with daily tasks including personal care, homemaking and transportation, however, caregiving can have broad physical, emotional and financial implications. Right at Home is taking advantage of this month-long awareness event to educate family caregivers and their loved ones on the respite options available.”

Caregiving is a demanding job and respite care provides a short-term, much-needed break to relieve stress, restore energy and promote balance in a caregiver’s life. There are both in-home and out-of-home respite care options to consider.

In-home respite care services allow loved ones to remain in their own homes and can be provided by volunteers or paid help, occasionally or on a regular basis. Many in-home care agencies, such as Right at Home, offer trained, insured and bonded caregivers who can provide homemaking, physical assistance, hygiene, wellness and skilled nursing services. Companionship and assistance with basic daily tasks can also be provided by other family members, neighbors or volunteer and nonprofit groups in the community.

There are also many out-of-home respite care options available for family caregivers. Adult day care services can provide social and health services for adults who need supervised care outside of the home.  These services are typically available during normal business hours and often offer social activities, transportation, meals and snacks and personal care. There are also residential respite care facilities who offer short-term care, whether it is needed over night, for a few days or for a few weeks. The cost for this supervised, safe care varies and is not always covered by insurance or Medicare.

When selecting any of these options, family caregivers should assess what their needs are: type of care, skills, location and frequency. Qualified providers should then be chosen based on the services that best meet these needs. While finding and implementing successful respite care can be challenging, in the end the relief and revitalization that follows benefit all involved in the caregiving process.

Add to the conversation by sharing some of your experiences as a family caregiver and where you have turned to for respite!

B. Solomon
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