Full-time caregiving is a huge commitment; respite care for elderly parents is an important part of making this realistic for the caregiver. Without taking the breaks you need, caregiver burnout could become a very real threat to both you and those you care for. This is where senior respite care is incredibly beneficial to caregiver well-being.
But it’s important to remember that respite care is very personal to the individual and their primary caregivers. This means that there really is no ”one-size-fits-all” approach and you should tailor your respite care plan to your individual needs.
To learn more about respite care and its undoubted benefits, read more!
What Exactly is Senior Respite Care?
Statistics show that there are approximately 34 million adults in the U.S. who provide full-time care to a loved one, without pay. Long-time caregiving can be a great burden to carry from a physical, mental, emotional, and financial standpoint. Many full-time caregivers do not have the support they need and are prone to stress, exhaustion, illness, and depression without the respite they deserve.
This is where both caregivers and elderly seniors can benefit from respite care.
This type of care is temporary, though. It is usually provided in-home or within an institution that houses an elderly senior who is ill, handicapped, very frail, or requires constant care. There are many variations of respite care which range from in-home caregivers, extended stay caregiving centers, as well as adult day centers.
Essentially, respite care offers full-time caregivers the break they need in order to manage their own health and other responsibilities or commitments in their own lives.
Common Reasons For Respite Care
While each scenario is very different and deeply personal, some of the most common reasons caregivers choose the option of respite care include:
- A need to travel
- In order to take some time away from caregiving responsibilities to rest and recuperate
- A loved one needs a change of pace when it comes to care
- Trialing a senior community center to take over full-time care
- Easing a loved one into the idea of permanent senior living
Vacation care for elderly parents is usually short-term, on a week-to-week basis. Sometimes it may only be for a weekend. The bottom line is that you should take the time you need as a caregiver in order to get your own life in order before you can take care of someone else’s.
6 Benefits of Respite Care For the Elderly
When it comes to full-time caregiving, there is absolutely no shame in asking for help and prioritizing some time for your own health and well-being. The importance of respite care cannot be understated. If you are completely burnt out, you won’t be able to provide the best care for your loved one, and that could have a lasting effect on their health and your relationship.
Here’s why respite care is so beneficial:
1. Caregiver Relief and Renewal
It’s no secret that caregiving is highly demanding. It’s a stressful responsibility to have the health of a loved one in your hands. In short, no one is really equipped to offer full-time caregiving without some form of help.
Just like the loved one you look after, caregivers need support and attention, too. This is why temporary care for elderly parents is so beneficial — it offers you a chance to maintain your health and mental well-being. The time away from your caregiving duties allows you to rest, find relief from the stress, and return to your caregiving with a sense of renewed energy and stamina.
2. It’s a Win-Win For Both Caregivers and Loved Ones
Respite care provides caregivers and their loved ones a much-needed break from their daily care routine. This, in itself, is highly beneficial to the mental and emotional health of both parties.
In essence, nothing much changes, except for the caregiver in this situation. The level of care will remain the same. It’s a win-win situation as caregivers can rest and recuperate with full peace-of-mind, while their loved ones are still taken care of in a safe, nurturing environment.
3. Space and Perspective
Taking the time away from your everyday caregiving routine can do wonders for the soul due to a change in perspective. It’s easy to get caught up in the drudgery of your day-to-day duties — you may even begin to feel resentful, frustrated, or depressed.
Respite care allows caregivers to take a mental break, gain a new perspective on their own life, the state of their health, and what they want for their future.
4. Guilt-Free Pleasure
Caregiver guilt is a very real struggle for most caregivers. You may struggle with the constant fear that you’re not doing enough in your caregiving responsibility. You may even struggle with simply taking any time for yourself.
Respite care allows caregivers to take time off and enjoy it without a shred of guilt because of the peace-of-mind that their loved one is being well looked after. This guilt-free time off allows you to feel real pleasure, which contributes to a new sense of renewal and a positive outlook.
5. Reconnect With Your Identity
Getting tied up in the role of caregiver is a common reality for most full-time caregivers. This is where a sense of your own identity is completely lost. Ultimately, this could lead to negative thoughts, resentment, frustration, and disillusion towards life.
Taking time away thanks to respite care allows you to reconnect with yourself and re-establish your sense of identity. It also allows caregivers the chance to reignite their love for certain hobbies and interests, aside from caregiving.
6. Social Engagement
Social isolation is a reality for many full-time caregivers. They become so wrapped up in the care of someone else that it’s easy to shut out other important people in their lives. Respite care allows caregivers to stay active in their social lives, enjoy time with other family members and friends on a more regular basis, and avoid social isolation.
Find Expert Respite Care At Your Fingertips
If you’re looking for respite care for an elderly parent, Stowell Associates is your leader in care management and in-home respite care services.
Offering respite caregiving in the Milwaukee, Kenosha, Racine, and Waukesha areas, learn more about our dedicated caregivers and how we can help you find a sense of renewal with the reliable support you need.