Primary caregivers are always thinking of the needs of the friend or family member in their care. But what about the needs of the primary caregiver? It can be easy to ignore your own needs when you are providing care for someone else, but neglecting your own health and well-being can affect your ability to effectively provide for the person in your care. If you’re not able to take care of yourself, how can you be expected to care for someone else?
According to the “Caregiving in the U.S. 2020” report published by the AARP Public Policy Institute and the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), more than a third of family caregivers believe their duties are highly stressful emotionally. On top of that, nearly 1 in 5 reports a high level of physical strain. Respite care is designed to counter this trend and afford primary caregivers the opportunity to take some time away from their duties and restore their energy, so that they can remain healthy and avoid burnout.
Types of Respite Care
Respite care can be a few hours during the week or even an extended period of time. The goal is to provide caregivers a temporary reprieve from their duties, while also making sure that the friend or family member in their care is being provided for. It can be as informal as having a close friend or family member step in to spend a couple hours with your loved one, or you can take advantage of the assistance offered by professional in- and out-of-home respite care services.
In-home services can include:
- Companionship for social engagements and supervised activities
- Housekeeping services for daily tasks such as laundry and meal prep
- Personal care services (e.g. bathing, dressing and exercising)
- Skilled care services for help with medications and other medical needs
If there is an adult day center in your area, they provide regular programming and social engagement in a safe environment for your loved one. They typically operate during the week and are open for standard business hours, so if you are looking for a provider that can accommodate overnight stays, look into residential care options. They can offer many of the same services and amenities as a senior living community.
What Health Conditions are Supported by Respite Care?
What level of care does your loved one require? It’s an important question when deciding whether respite care is right for you and the friend or family member in your care. If your loved one needs assistance with daily tasks like bathing, dressing and eating, respite care providers can fulfill that need. But they can also typically go beyond that, providing the kind of medical attention you might expect from a nurse or a certified nursing assistant. These licensed professionals can help administer medicine, give injections or treat wounds.
If your loved one suffers from cognitive difficulties, it may be worth checking to see if an adult day center in your area provides programming specific to memory problems. They may even have staff members who have received specialized training in that area.
Can You Afford Respite Care?
It can be easy to identify the cost as a stumbling block to securing respite care for the friend or family member in your care. But the cost is going to vary from one provider to the next, so it is worthwhile to check with each provider you’re considering and discuss the cost. There are in-home care providers who charge an hourly rate, and there are adult day centers and residential care facilities that charge for each day your loved one is in their care. Just don’t let a fear of the potential cost prevent you from looking into your options.
If you’re uncertain whether you’d be able to afford respite care on your own, there are certain qualifying conditions to receive help from the following:
- Veterans Benefits. Veterans and survivors receiving a VA pension might be eligible for respite care assistance through the Aid and Attendance benefit. The VA also offers up to 30 days of residential respite care at certain locations.
- Medicaid. While Medicaid general benefits do not cover respite care, some states have waiver programs available that can help cover the cost.
- Medicare. Medicare does not cover the cost of respite care, however, there is available coverage when a respite stay is used in conjunction with hospice care.
The Stayton offers residential respite care services in Fort Worth, Texas, for when primary caregivers need a reprieve from their duties and responsibilities and the friend or family member in their care needs a change of scenery in a welcome break from their routine.
While you are able to take time for yourself, your loved one will be in good hands. The Stayton is committed to providing residents with a lifestyle of luxury, and that extends to the older adults under our respite care. Not only will your loved one have access to our full complement of health services, but they will also find themselves in awe of the amenities around them. We haven’t even mentioned the luxury dining options and chef-prepared meals that would be available.
If you would like to learn more about our respite care services and how we might be able to support you and your loved one, we encourage you to get in touch with our team.