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What is respite care?

Respite care is often referred to as the gift of time.
Respite care is often referred to as the gift of time.

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April 12, 2010

"I'm taking time to take care of myself."

Respite care refers to short-term, temporary care provided to someone who needs assistance so that a family caregiver can take a break from the daily routine, challenges and stress of caring for an aging adult. Respite is often referred to as the gift of time.

Respite services may involve overnight care for an extended period of time such as when the caregiver's family takes a vacation. Or respite care can be for just a few hours a day or week to give the caregiver some time off to take a break, exercise, conduct personal business or even visit with friends.

"This [respite care] allows family caregivers some time away, while knowing that their relative is getting the care and companionship he or she needs," says Richard Schulz, Ph.D., caregiver stress expert at the University of Pittsburgh.

While respite care may require some financial outlay, it must be weighed as an option to support the mental stability and health of the family caregiver. Even using just a couple of the services (errands and shopping) can lessen the burden of caregiving considerably.

Agencies that provide information and services are hospice care, home health agencies, non-medical senior care agencies, social services, private nursing companies, senior centers, churches or the National Family Caregivers Association.

There are many ways to de-stress as a caregiver. Surely you deserve a break.

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. August 5, 2013 at 8:05 pm | Posted by Lois Eggleston

    How do I find this type insurance for the future? Also how I can check on a company that has an agent that is trying to sell me this kind of insurance during an appointment? I just turned 71years and all my children live out of this state. Thanks, Lois

    Reply

  2. October 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Posted by jason Mckinney

    what should I do? my wife is a caregiver for two people for a total of 176 hours a month. the lady gets mad everytime I want to do something with my wife. yet when she wants something it has to be right now regardless of what is going on. There have been times when she will have my wife get her on the bed pan then she will just sit there for 1-2 hours before saying that she wants to get off but this happens mostly at night when My wife and I are trying to get some sleep. I feel that my wife is on burnout mode as she has been feeling poorly the last few days. What can we do?

    Reply

    • July 25, 2012 at 6:00 am | Posted by Zahid

      My youngest child had sevree colic and hardly slept more than 15 minutes at a time for the first few months. Ironically, my husband was working out of the country at the time (and getting his sleep, I might add). He asked a friend of ours to be on call to help me. That friend stopped over every day for one hour and just held my beautiful crying baby. It was a godsend! Usually I just took a long shower ... or went for a run. It was wonderful to have the help because I was a tired, pitiful human.

      Reply

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