Respite care is a service provided for you as a caregiver. Unfortunately many of us don't take advantage of these types of services. There are several reasons for not finding out about and using these services.
Do you feel like you have no time for yourself? Are you feeling isolated? Do you ever feel like you're on the verge of exhaustion or burning out? Although you love your spouse or family member, you need to take care of yourself - your physical and mental health, so that you can take better care of them.
It's not a bad thing that you need to take a break every now and then to help you stay on track or get back on track. If you feel stressed out or more irritable than usual, these can be signs that it's time to take advantage of some type of respite care services.
First of all, there are two basic areas of this type of care: letting someone else share your caregiving responsibilities, and taking care of yourself. Think about what your loved ones needs are and also your own needs as a caregiver.
Do you need help with transportation? Do you need regular time to yourself? Or support from others, maybe even other family members? These types of needs are relatively simple to figure out. Do a little planning by writing down what both you and your loved ones needs are on a daily basis.
Decide when and where you need the most support or help, or time. Then decide if another family member would possibly be able to step in for a few hours on a certain day of the week.
Plan out a schedule with family or friends who are willing to volunteer to hang out with your loved one while you step out, take a walk, go to a movie, or whatever you need to do.
Make a list of your loved ones needs. What are their preferences? How much can they do or what is their level of disability? Do they need meals prepared? Do they need physical exercise? What kind? How about companionship? Would they just like someone to sit and talk with them? Read to them? Writing these things down will make it easier for volunteers or other caregivers to take your place for the allotted time.
There are two basic types of care: In-Home and Out-of-Home.
How will this service get paid for? Do you have insurance - private or public? Medicare and/or Medicaid? Some, but not all of the costs, may be covered by these insurances so check first to compare prices. Family and friends who are volunteers are not looking for pay. They, in most instances, just want to help out. Most likely, they haven't known what to do or how to proceed.
This type of care is so useful because it benefits the caregiver and the caregetter. An overwhelmed, worn out, irritable, caregiver cannot do their job adequately. Your loved one deserves someone who is healthy, both physically and mentally, to care for them.
Go talk to your family, friends, and your healthcare team to see who and what's available. Don't feel bad if it doesn't feel right at first. You can always work out the kinks until you both feel good about the arrangement. And when you find something that works for you, use it. Take advantage of everything that is offered. Both you and your loved one will be glad you did.
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Cir & Akrista
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