Caregiving can be a full-time job, as family caregivers spend an average of 24.4 hours per week providing care, and almost a quarter of them provide care for 41 hours or more weekly (National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 2015). Given the 24/7 nature of caregiving, taking advantage of respite care is essential to prevent exhaustion and ensure that caregivers can continue providing care.
Respite care refers to planned or emergency care provided to an adult to give temporary relief to family caregivers. There are two types of respite care models: in-home and out-of-home respite. Families often prefer in-home respite care since it allows the recipient to stay in their environment, eliminates transportation barriers, and is more cost-effective. A public health nurse agency, social service department, volunteer association, private nonprofit agency, or a private homemaker service or home care agency usually provides home-based services. On the other hand, out-of-home respite allows care recipients to experience new surroundings, peer relationships, and cognitive and emotional stimulation. Families can enjoy time in their own homes without the constraints of constant care and can devote more attention to siblings and other family members.
At first, it may be difficult for caregivers to take a respite break. They may feel reluctant to leave their loved ones or fear something will happen while away. They may also feel guilty about having a good time if their loved one suffers. However, it's essential to acknowledge that caregivers must care for themselves, too. They can only provide the best care when feeling rested and refreshed.
Caregivers need to plan for using respite care much earlier than they think they need it. Respite services can be beneficial, meaningful, and enjoyable to both the caregiver and the care recipient. If you are looking for support around finding respite support or caring for a loved one, reach out to Mellie by email at email@example.com, phone: at 415-839-9139, or via our contact form.