Today, the medical community widely appreciates the importance of protecting family caregivers from stress and inadvertent burnout. Tending to the needs of an ailing loved one sometimes proves challenging indeed. In order to ensure a good quality of daily life for everyone in the household, caregivers must make sure they also pay attention to their own emotional, social, and physical needs.
Why Respite Care Matters
No one can look after the well being of someone else adequately 24/7 without taking an occasional break. Respite care provides a way for family caregivers to spend time revitalizing and restoring their own reserves. This service ensures qualified, well-trained people furnish care to a patient on a short term basis. It allows a full-time caregiver to obtain a brief “respite” from the responsibilities of looking after a seriously ill or debilitated loved one.
Respite Care And Seniors
In the United States, short-term senior care sometimes serves as a respite care resource for family members seeking to place an elderly loved one in a safe, responsibly managed living environment for temporary periods of time. Members of the household may simply require relief from providing personal care. Particularly in situations in which only a single caregiver (for example, an elderly spouse) tends to the needs of the patient, the caregiver may run a high risk of sustaining health problems without the availability of occasional respite services.
Not Just For Seniors
Of course, respite care serves a wide cross-section of patients and families. Households sometimes call upon this service to help caregivers who look after the needs of patients with mental disabilities, for example. Some communities offer a variety of different forms of respite care (including day care arrangements).
Caring For The Caregiver
The bottom line: caregivers must ensure they do not suffer “burnout”. When someone assumes the responsibility of caring for an infirm loved one, the caregiver needs to possess sufficient energy and alertness to furnish effective assistance should an emergency arise. These individuals serve their patients best by remaining cognizant of their own limitations and health needs.
Most state social service agencies and health departments offer referrals to licensed respite care resources. The availability of respite providers sometimes varies from one location to another. Family caretakers should plan on taking respite breaks.