What is Respite Care and How Does it Help?

As a full-time caregiver for a family member or other loved one, you know what it’s like to be “on call” 24 hours a day/7 days a week even though caregiving is not your chosen profession. You’re in good company, as it has been reported that upwards of 34 million Americans provide care for no pay to an adult over the age of 50, and the majority of these caregivers have no formal training or background in caregiving. Of course, that doesn’t keep you from feeling overburdened and even totally burned out at times.

The good news is that there is help available to allow you to rest and recharge whenever you feel the need. This help is known as respite care, and it provides short-term relief for primary caregivers.

Today we’re taking a closer look at just how this care can help both you and those you care for.

You deserve a break

Are you caring for an aging parent, relative, or family friend with no compensation and little to no support from others? While it’s true that you provide this care out of a sense of duty and gratitude, you are also likely stressed and struggling to balance caregiving with your own full life. We’re here to tell you to go ahead and take a break without guilt.

Feel like that’s easier said than done? It doesn’t have to be. You just need to find a trustworthy respite care provider.

How to find great respite care

Respite care is likely available from a reputable, trusted resource in your community. You just need to know where to look. If you’re in our service area in Lancaster County, PA, MediQuest proudly offers highly skilled professional caregivers that can take over your duties in the comfort of your loved one’s home while you take a breather.

While it’s true that respite care can take many different forms, depending upon you or your loved one’s preferences, homecare is one of the strongest options available.

Adult day programs and many nursing facilities also offer respite care, but these formats require your loved one to leave their familiar home surroundings, which may be difficult for some.

Homecare takes the old saying “there’s no place like home” as its philosophy, and is designed to allow individuals to remain where they most like to be – at home. Caregivers come to you, which makes taking a break that much easier on you, too.

There are many benefits to taking advantage of respite care. Have you considered these?

Respite care promotes self-care

The term “self-care” is a buzzword today that may seem a bit indulgent and over-the-top. But don’t scoff – self-care is simply paying attention to our own physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

It is not selfish or rude to intentionally focus on self-care practices. These include stress management, gentle exercise, and just taking short breaks when you need them to do the things you most love to do. Respite care was designed to allow you to focus on yourself and go on a much-needed vacation every now and again!

Respite care makes you a better caregiver

Did you know that respite care can be formatted so that it’s available to you on a regular basis, too? If you work a full-time schedule and have your own family demands with children and grandchildren in addition to your caregiving duties, you may benefit from weekly or more frequent breaks. Just like we take weekends from our formal jobs to catch up on personal things, which tends to make us better workers, taking regular breaks can make us more focused and patient when we’re “on the job” with caregiving duties, as well.

Respite care can be upgraded

As you begin to utilize respite care to help reduce stress in your life, you may realize that the affordable and expert care your loved one receives while you are “offline” could be useful on a daily basis. Many homecare service providers, as we do here at MediQuest, provide flexible access to caregivers, as little or as much as the client requires.

If you begin with simple respite care to allow yourself the occasional vacation and decide later that your loved one really could benefit from daily support, such as help with “activities of daily living” (ADLs), or even just some companionship from another person, you can upgrade care at any time. And, depending upon your loved one’s insurance plan, there may be coverage available to defray costs.

In the end, respite care is about assuring that your loved one receives compassionate, friendly support in the ways they most need while you’re tending to your own needs. It benefits everyone involved, from the patient receiving great care to the family caregiver receiving much-needed rest to the professional caregiver pursuing their life’s work.

To start the conversation about how respite care can help you and your loved one in the Lancaster, PA area, get in touch with us at MediQuest Staffing & Homecare today. We look forward to working with you!