With time, more and more of us are finding ourselves in the role of a family caregiver for our elderly loved ones. Baby boomers, who are themselves at or nearing retirement age, often find themselves caring for their elderly loved ones, often while still juggling the responsibilities of their own career and family. And older adults – often in their 70s or 80s are more frequently finding themselves caring for an ailing spouse.
And while we deeply love our ageing family members, caring for them can often become overwhelming and stressful. It can lead to stress, burnout and sometimes even resentment.
This is where respite care can provide a multitude of benefits – not just to the person who requires care but also to family caregivers.
What Is Respite Care?
Respite care provides a respite – or break – to family caregivers. It is when professional caregivers provide their services for a few hours a day, a couple of days a week, or whatever amount of time is necessary to allow family caregivers “time off” for themselves. Frequently, respite care is home care in which a professional health care worker comes to the person’s home to care for them and look after their needs.
And while some family caregivers can feel reluctant to hire a “stranger” to take care of their parent or spouse, many who agree to respite care find that it was one of the best decisions they have made for both themselves and their loved one.
Some of the benefits of respite care are:
- It can enhance the family caregiver’s relationship with their loved one. Since respite care allows the family caregiver to step out of the role of caregiver once in a while, it gives them more of a chance to reconnect with their family member on an emotional level.
- It allows the family caregiver more time to take care of their physical and mental health. While their loved one is in respite care, the family caregiver can take time to exercise, visit friends and family, or simply take time for themselves.
- It can help the whole family make the transition to more full-time care. While we never want to believe that our loved one’s needs may someday become more than we can manage, the fact is that that day could come. Hiring a home respite worker for a day or two per week can help everyone become more comfortable with the idea of full-time care, so that if that time comes, it will not be a drastic adjustment.
Are you a family caregiver and feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities? Respite care can help. Contact Vera Home Care today for a consultation!