You’ve heard the phrase, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander”. When it comes to taking care of a loved one, family caregivers often play the role of the neglected goose. In order to provide the best possible care for the elderly adult, respite care is an essential ingredient to remain happy and healthy. This includes the need for family caregiver’s to take regularly scheduled breaks from their work.
Caregiving can take a significant toll on family caregivers, and respite care provides them with a break and a sense of relief. Studies show that caregiving can be so stressful, draining, and all-consuming that it often endangers caregiver health. This phenomenon, known as caregiver burnout, is a significant problem documented by numerous studies.
What Are The Benefits of Respite Care?
Respite care helps to combat caregiver burnout directly, allowing the entire family to thrive. It provides a tremendous benefit to the family caregiver, which in turn benefits the loved one. Respite care services are a cost-effective option, and it is far more convenient for everyone.
The benefits of respite care for the family caregiver include:
- Improved physical health
- Less stress and mental fog
- Doing what you love
- Better family relations
Improved Physical Health
The ongoing work of bathing, dressing, grooming, providing meals and conversation, and caring for the needs of another person leaves little time for the caregiver to address their own needs. Studies show that this often leads to declines in the caregiver’s health. They don’t eat, sleep, or exercise as well as they would otherwise. Senior respite care services provide the necessary break that allows a caregiver to remain healthy.
Less Stress and Mental Fog
Providing care to an aging parent or loved one can also be very stressful and emotionally draining and has the potential to complicate family dynamics. This can lead to depression for the caregiver, which in turn hurts the senior loved one. Respite care benefits the mental health of the caregiver by giving them regular time to themselves to de-stress, relax, and recover.
Doing What You Love
Time away from providing caregiving improves the quality time spent together with the elderly loved one. Respite care allows family caregivers to spend less time doing the things they don’t love—such as cleaning the house or doing laundry—and more time doing what they do love, be it planning group meals with other family members or just chatting with their loved one about happy memories.
Better Family Relations
Respite care also helps to maintain healthy relationships in the family. If one child of an aging parent, for instance, is providing most of the caregiving, a hired respite caregiver gives that family member regular breaks. Senior respite care services can prevent the family from developing feelings of resentment towards other family members. It can also avoid feelings of embarrassment or guilt on the part of aging parents or siblings.
What is Respite Home Care?
Respite home care is when a respite caregiver comes to the senior’s home and learns how to provide them with the same level of care they’ve been getting from their family caregiver. The care provided remains seamless, and the senior’s life is almost unchanged.
This also means that the primary caregiver who needs the respite doesn’t have to cope with the added stress of transferring seniors back and forth to a facility. A respite caregiver just comes to the home, takes over, and the regular caregiver gets their well-deserved break.
Respite Home Care Services by LivHOME
LivHOME care managers develop plans for respite care services that are tailored to meet the needs of seniors and their primary caregivers. Similarly, emergency respite care and short-term respite care services may be implemented if a caregiver is suddenly unable to provide care or is in need of a vacation.
Our in-home respite care services can be scheduled to regularly provide the primary caregiver with the relief they need and an opportunity to recharge. Our care can be mixed and matched to fit the needs of seniors aging at home.
LivHOME respite care services include:
- Bathing, dressing, and grooming
- Healthy meal planning and preparation
- Light housekeeping and laundry
- Shopping and errands
- Companionship and joyful activities
- Transportation to appointments and events
- Exercise and mobility assistance
- Medication reminders
- Medical care coordination
Bathing, Dressing, & Grooming
Respite caregivers provide a wide range of home care services that help to maintain and improve personal care and hygiene for loved ones aging at home. These services include assisting the seniors in bathing, dressing, shaving, grooming, and using the toilet.
Healthy Meal Planning & Preparation
Unlike the situation a loved one might face at many senior care facilities, LivHOME respite caregivers ensure that seniors at home are involved in planning their meals. Respite caregivers can shop for these meals, prepare them, cook them, and serve them. We’ll make sure that your loved one is eating what they enjoy and what suits their dietary needs.
Light Housekeeping & Laundry
Respite caregivers can also provide light housekeeping and laundry assistance. They will wipe down counters, wash dishes, clean bathrooms and kitchens, vacuum, dust, wash clothes, change bed linens, even help care for pets and plants.
Shopping & Errands
Help with errands can be part of any LivHOME plan for respite care. Such simple tasks as picking up medications or grocery shopping can take up many hours of every day. Providing respite care services that include help with errands buys the primary caregiver extra hours to ensure their own well-being.
Companionship & Joyful Activities
A LivHOME respite care plan can include the help of a companion caregiver who provides necessary conversation and can create activities that bring the loved one joy, from reading aloud to trips to visit friends or get ice cream. A respite care plan can be especially beneficial in crafting programs for respite care for elderly folks and their caregivers. Sometimes all that’s needed is rest, relaxation and joy on both sides of the caregiving equation.
Transportation to Appointments and Events
Some seniors who are managing their daily tasks well only need transportation to keep them involved in the community. LivHOME can provide caregivers to drive your loved ones to appointments, community events, or visits with friends and family. Our respite care services are custom-tailored on an individual level, so if your loved one only needs transportation assistance, we’ll create a respite care plan and match you with a respite caregiver to suit.
Exercise & Mobility Assistance
A 2014 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that even frail older adults who increase their activity live longer and have less disability. LivHOME’s respite caregivers can make sure that loved ones safely and regularly get the movement and exercise they need. They are also skilled at moving seniors in and out of bed, chairs, and other mobility supports.
Most seniors take at least one medication every day, and many take three or more. When a primary caregiver takes a break, it’s critical there’s no interruption with their loved one’s medications. LivHOME respite care providers can manage medications by picking up prescriptions, establishing a schedule, monitoring side effects, and reminding aging loved ones when it’s time to take their pills.
Medical Care Coordination
While we don’t offer direct medical care, our geriatric care managers are experts at navigating the healthcare system. We can provide non-medical home care for seniors and oversee all the coordination and interface with medical care providers. Having an experienced care manager makes the respite period seamless as far as the loved one’s medical care is concerned, improving the primary caregiver’s peace of mind and the loved one’s quality of life.
Concerns About Respite Home Care
It’s perfectly reasonable for anyone considering in-home respite care to have questions and concerns. Here are some of the most common:
Family members who are the primary caregivers for seniors aging at home often worry about the impact of respite care on their bank accounts. Will it cost too much? The only way to know is to gather more information, which a LivHOME Care Consultant would be happy to help. LivHOME Care Managers can help families identify government programs and insurance funds that may pay for home care services. Costs can also be controlled and managed by determining the senior’s specific needs and tailoring a program to meet those needs.
Many families of aging adults find that respite care services are either revenue neutral for them or provide an indirect financial benefit because they free up time for the primary caregiver to attend to his or her own finances or go back to work. And intermittent respite home care is a better value than a senior care facility.
Another common concern among families and principal caregivers is the reliability and quality of the respite care. What if the respite caregiver isn’t as good or as reliable as family care? That’s why so many families with these concerns turn to a care-managed home care agency like ours: Our geriatric care managers can ensure the highest quality of in-home care because we do the hiring, vetting, and managing of caregivers, and can provide replacements immediately if needed.
One of the most significant concerns primary caregivers face when considering help for elderly loved ones stems from guilt. They might not realize it, but deep down they are reluctant to seek additional assistance because they think this will make them seem like a bad or ungrateful child.
Sometimes seniors who are afraid encourage these feelings of guilt themselves. It’s important to realize that respite care is essential to providing the best overall care. Is a full-time worker wrong for taking the weekend off? Of course not. The same is accurate with respite care: the primary caregiver will provide better care for a longer period of time only by getting the proper time, sleep, exercise, and breaks that they need.
Creating a Respite Care Plan
The best way to make care work for both the primary caregiver and the loved one is to sit down, talk, and develop a comprehensive, long-term respite care plan. LivHOME Care Managers can expedite this planning by bringing to aim their vast training and experience. Every situation may be unique, but it’s helpful to call on experts who have already experienced many of the challenges you’re going through.
Here’s how to develop the best respite care plan:
- Start with a conversation
- Talk about everyone’s needs
- Consider all the options
Start With a Conversation
Sit down with family members, friends, and any anyone else involved in the caregiving process. If some relatives are out of town, you can use video chats to include them.
Talk About Everyone’s Needs
What does the aging parent need concerning care? (If you’ve established a home care plan, it will describe this. LivHOME Care Managers can help develop such a plan.) What does the primary caregiver need regarding time off? Weekends off, evenings, certain days?
Consider All the Options
Let everyone involved ask questions and offer up suggestions. Ask that everyone remain as open-minded as possible at first, just to collect different ideas. Then stop talking and give people time to think about how they can help provide respite for the primary caregiver. LivHOME is an option that many families turn to when searching for respite care for seniors because it’s a “one-stop shop” for senior care services. One call to LivHOME allows families to create a respite care plan and implement it immediately.
Whatever your plans—or if you just want to get more information—it makes sense to talk to the people with the most experience managing respite care. So if you’re a primary caregiver who is feeling burned out, if you’re worried about getting some help for a primary caregiver, take time and speak to a Care Consultant at LivHOME right now. They can put your mind at ease.