What Exactly Is Respite Care and How Does It Benefit Family Caregivers?

Senior man and female carer enjoying coffee at home
Learn more about respite care and how it can help you provide the best possible care for someone you love.

Meeting the care needs of an older or disabled loved one is a physically, psychologically, and emotionally strenuous undertaking, and it’s crucial for family caregivers to take time away to rest and relax. Respite care provides relief from the day-to-day responsibilities of caregiving, enabling family caregivers to also care for their own needs.

Here are several basic principles of respite care:

  • Respite from everyday, ongoing care tasks ensures seniors still get the attention they need and deserve.
  • Respite care supplies family caregivers with care that is planned, short-term, intermittent and substitute.
  • Respite care can be provided from several hours for just one day to regularly scheduled routine relief.

How you can help a family caregiver:

  • Offer to share caregiving tasks. Even if you are only available to help out once in a while, it shows the family caregiver that you care about his or her wellbeing.
  • Offer to assist with the family caregiver’s own personal chores. Family caregivers have their own lives too, and taking time to take care of their own laundry, grocery shopping, and housework chores can be tricky.
  • Chip in for respite care services from a professional home care agency, like Dakota Home Care. In many instances, family members who live at a distance want to contribute to a loved one’s care. Helping to pay for respite care services helps not only the older adult, but the family caregiver as well.

How family caregivers can find needed support:

  • Ask for help. Other family members often want to help with caregiving, but aren’t aware of what help is needed. Involve them in the respite care plan so you can take a break when needed.
  • When family members are unavailable, arrange for respite care with a home care agency, like Dakota Home Care. Professional caregivers can help family members take the time away they need while providing high quality care for their older loved ones.
  • Talk to the person in your care. Changing up the daily routine, such as bringing in a new caregiver, may be stressful for the senior, so take the following steps to alleviate any concerns:
    • Make sure you have a respite care plan ready to go in advance.
    • Remind the older adult regularly that your break is coming up and someone will be coming to help him/her.
    • Introduce the senior to the new caregiver if he/she is not another family member.
  • Stick to your plan. Taking time away from caregiving is critical to your health. Make sure that all who are involved in your respite care plan are on board so that you can make time to care for yourself.

The bottom line is, no one person can do everything alone, and there is skilled and compassionate help here for you! Dakota Home Care is the top-rated provider of elder care assistance in Bismarck, ND, as well as throughout Mandan, Fargo, and the surrounding areas. We’re pleased to offer respite care services according to your preferred schedule and routine. Contact us at (877) 691-0015 to learn about the many ways we can help.

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