According to Wikipedia, respite care is the provision of short-term, temporary relief to those who are caring for family members who might otherwise require permanent placement in a facility outside the home. But it really is much more meaningful than the definition because we are talking about our family members, our loved ones.
With the increasing number of health care options available and the advancement of geriatric care on the rise, the elderly in our country are living longer and hopefully, fuller lives. Studies show that the average life expectancy in the U.S. is increasing annually, therefore, so does the demand on caregivers. If you have an aging family member and their health is on the decline, the demands on your time and energy can be overwhelming as you spend more time meeting the needs of your loved one, there are less resources available for helping you meet your own needs. This can cause you to feel overwhelmed, isolated from other family members and friends, and can also lead to depression. When the person you are caring for begins to physically decline more and more, the more involved you, as their caregiver, will need to be. This can turn into a 24 hour a day, seven day a week responsibility.
Respite care is a service that can support you by providing a temporary care solution while allowing you to maintain the primary relationship as the caregiver for your loved one. Being able to step away from the immediate needs of your loved one can be beneficial to both of you. It will allow you time to relax and feel renewed in your sense of purpose. It will help you be more effective because it will give you time to re-energize and enjoy some much needed time on your own. You still have the right to lead your own life, even if the person you are caring for is not able to do so. Constant caregivers find themselves feeling guilty when they are not on site all the time, giving their undivided attention to their loved one, but it is good for people to take some time away. The person being cared for may have guilt also, thinking they are a burden to the caregiver, so having respite care allows the patient to feel better about the situation too.
Having respite care can also be beneficial because it can delay the move to a permanent care facility. Senior Care Centers offers independent living, assisted living, Alzheimer’s and rehabilitation services and also provides skilled nursing teams that can provide respite care for your loved one so you can have time away to rejuvenate. If your loved one needs medical attention on a daily basis, such as a feeding tube or IV, we are there to give you the peace of mind you need. We also understand that at some point, you will need to make the decision to turn over the care of your loved one to a staff of professionals and we are here to assist in that transition. Our ultimate goal is to make sure we are providing the highest level of health care to our patients, superior support for their families, and medical care that makes these transitions as comfortable as possible.