Respite care offers a break from burden of worry

Being a caregiver can be stressful. It can consume your life so much that you forget to take care of your own needs. Likewise, having to be cared for can be stressful, too. Accepting losses of independence, along with the fear that comes along with that, can lead to additional health problems and depression.

That’s where respite care comes in.

Various respite care options are designed to take the strain off caregivers, and to give those being cared for the comfort of knowing they are safe and secure. It’s also a way to deal with unexpected situations, like trips or work and family obligations the caregiver must attend to. Or perhaps a fall or a recent return from the hospital has made those being care for at home vulnerable, and therefore requiring more constant care for a time.

However, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Don’t just wait until there is an emergency, or your stress level has gone too high. Here are a few options to help you put a respite care plan in place.

» Friends and family: Of course, if you have friends and family willing to help, you’re lucky. Perhaps you can split up duties and spread out the caregiving tasks. However, be sure to find out who your loved one really trusts and wants to be with, and get some honest commitments from friends and loved ones about what they are truly willing to do to help. Avoid any potential misunderstandings by being clear about expectations, including issues such as payment for their time or reimbursement of expenses. Be sure to provide a list of medications and special instructions for care so that the transition from one caregiver to the next is seamless. This is also a typically low-cost way of getting extra help.  MORE

Learn about respite care at Mountainside.