Providing support to your elderly family members is one of the most important jobs there is. It takes a remarkable amount of love, dedication, and patience to act as a family caregiver. In fact, it often takes so much effort that family caregivers definitely deserve a break every now and then. That’s where respite care can come in to help.
What Is Respite Care?
Research has shown that adults that are responsible for caring for seniors, such as their parents, often suffer from exhaustion, stress, and burnout at higher rates than other groups. Many family caregivers devote so much of themselves to their elderly family that they start to neglect their own health and wellness.
Everything in life is about balance, and caregiving is no exception. While it is admirable and important for you to devote as much time as possible to your senior loved ones, you cannot forget to take care of yourself, too. Caregivers need to find time to decompress, to travel, to pursue their personal hobbies and goals, and to put their own health needs first.
In short? Caregiving is an act of love, but it’s also labor – and it’s important to recognize when you need some time off.
Respite care is about giving that much-needed relief to family caregivers. With respite care, you can hire a professional to step in and provide support for your senior loved one as needed, giving you the chance to take a break and rest, letting you refocus on your own life for however long you may need.
Whether for a few hours a week or on a daily basis, a respite care provider can help give your senior loved one the personalized care that will allow them to flourish, while giving you the chance to step away, recharge, and come back to caregiving with a fresh perspective.
The Benefits of Respite Care: How It’s a “Win-Win” for Seniors and Their Family
Respite care is a way for family caregivers to get a chance to relax and turn their attention to other important matters. At the same time, it offers many advantages to senior adults, who may benefit from the additional support and attention that a professional can provide.
As Consumer Affairs points out, one way to think of the benefits of respite care for family caregivers and seniors is to think of it as an acronym:
R: Renewal and Relaxation
Let’s dive into each of those meaningful advantages in a little more depth:
Renewal and Relaxation
Respite care offers family caregivers the important opportunity to step away and rest. With the free hours provided by respite care, you can find time to do whatever brings you joy. That could mean pursuing an artistic project, going to the movies, or simply catching up on sleep.
Sometimes, it seems like family caregivers have to always be “on.” You only have so much energy and focus to spare. If you don’t give yourself the chance to recharge, you could end up making sloppy mistakes or, worse, suffering burnout. Stepping away can give caregivers the chance to rest and build up their emotional and physical energy, so that when they come back, they’ll have more to give to their senior loved ones.
It’s easy for friction to develop between older adults and their family, particularly when they spend all of their time together. Temporary respite care can give seniors and caregivers some much-needed time apart. Getting this little bit of breathing room can make it much easier for both parties to come back together peaceably, with a fresh sense of purpose.
It’s important to enjoy life. Often enough, family caregivers devote so much time to others that they forget to pursue their own pleasures and passions. Respite care can give you the opportunity to follow your bliss with peace of mind, sure in the knowledge that your senior loved one is being cared for. For seniors, getting to spend time with a professional caregiver may mean enjoying new experiences. For instance, a professional caregiver may be more willing to run certain errands or play a favorite game that a family caregiver may have grown tired of over time.
It’s easy for family caregivers to lose themselves in their senior loved one. Respite care can help caregivers take a step back and rediscover their sense of self. The same goes for older adults. Respite care can empower seniors to maintain their independence and rediscover who they are, separate from their family caregivers.
Respite care can make it feel like there are actually more hours in the day. For caregivers, this may mean getting the chance to tackle other pressing projects, or take a vacation they’ve been putting off. For both caregivers and seniors, being able to spend some time apart can mean gaining a fresh perspective and more energy, which can make the caregiving process that much easier down the line.
Respite care can give seniors and family caregivers the chance to rebuild their social connections. Often, caregiving can be time-consuming and draining, preventing caregivers from getting the chance to spend time with their friends and family. The time and peace of mind provided by respite care can make it easier for caregivers to reconnect with their social circles. The same is true for older adults, who may benefit from having a new face in their home, or a driver who can help transport them to community events.
How to Get Started With Respite Care
You and your loved ones deserve a break – and in-home respite care may be the best way to get it.
If you have any further questions about respite care, or want to get the conversation started, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Companions for Seniors. We’re here and happy to be your sounding board as you and your loved ones prepare to transition into a new phase of your journey together.
At Companions for Seniors, our mission is to help seniors live independently and with dignity in the comfort of their own home by empowering them to lead an active and enriched lifestyle, connecting them with their community and nurturing meaningful relationships.
While helping seniors maintain a higher quality of life, we also hope to provide greater peace of mind for family caregivers who may need some support.
We are locally owned in Chicago, with clients in the city and suburbs. All of our companions are trained, bonded, and insured, and can assist your loved one in many different ways, including assistance with activities of daily living, meal preparation, housekeeping, transportation services, and more.
From one hour to 24 hours a day, we can be there for you and your loved one. We understand that every situation is unique, so we provide a personalized care plan that’s modified to meet each client’s specific needs. As a client’s situation changes, so does our plan of care.
Ready to enjoy the benefits of respite care? Contact us online or give us a call today.