Summer is coming to an end soon, the holidays are arriving shortly and life continues with responsibilities and tasks to complete. Respite Care for the elderly is vital for family caregivers to cut down on the stress and dedication involved.
At Doolittle Home, we’ve seen this all too often. Caregivers have dedicated so much of their time and energy to caring for their elderly parent or loved one and often find that they have little time for their own needs. As their loved one’s physical health decreases or mental acuity worsens, the family caregiver becomes more involved in that care and less able to take the time to refresh themselves. It’s often a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week commitment.
For so many, the daily challenges for caring for an elderly family member are just a part of their life. However, no one person can do it alone. Sometimes a caregiver is far away from family and friends who may offer assistance or sometimes they are the sole caregiver for their loved one. Caregivers who try to do it all find themselves at an increased risk of depression and other health problems as a result of this stress. Having respite care enables the primary caregiver to keep providing rather than burning out or becoming ill herself. This temporary removal from the situation may also serve to restore one’s energy and help to promote balance in one’s life. This is why respite care for the elderly is needed.
What is Respite Care?
Respite Care is substitute care given so that the person who is the primary caregiver may get some relief. Respite Care may be for just a week, a couple of days, one day or even just one hour. It may be arranged to occur on a regular basis, or even just one time. Respite Care for the elderly is a service that supports and maintains the physical and emotional health of a caregiver by providing temporary care to an aging loved one.
Many caregivers dedicate much or most of their free time to taking care of their elder family member. In an increasingly mobile society where some family members have moved out of the general area, the remaining family member(s) have an increased burden and very little chance to go anywhere, do anything, or even have a family vacation.
Respite care can take several different forms. If a care giving family would like to take some time off for a family vacation, they may arrange for a senior living home respite care such as Doolittle Home in Foxboro, MA. When space is available, some senior living homes offer temporary housing and care. A nice advantage to this may be the opportunity to test the senior living center without having to commit to moving there permanently. The elder adult will be well cared for while enjoying the company and activities with the residents in the home.
A recent article in The Help Guide <<http://www.helpguide.org/elder/respite_care.htm>> had this list of some of the benefits of respite care for the elderly….
- R – Renewal and Relaxation: Taking a walk, strolling leisurely through the mall, visiting a museum or doing whatever brings joy can calm a caregiver, decrease their heart rate and improve their mood.
- E - Energy: To be effective in their own work, a caregiver must be afforded time to re-energize. Even an automobile won’t run on empty.
- S – Space: Getting away from the care-giving situation for even just a few hours helps with relaxation and brings a renewed sense of purpose.
- P – Pleasure: A caregiver must remember that they have the right to enjoy life even if they feel their care recipient cannot do the same.
- I – Identity: A caregiver must be intentional in maintaining a sense of self.
- T – Time away from the situation allows a caregiver to see it more clearly and upon return, adjustments can be made to improve the experience.
- E - Engagement: Social isolation can be a huge problem for caregivers. It’s important to take time to engage with friends and family by sharing lunch, taking a shopping trip or a walk in the park.
The bottom line: The caregiver must first take care of themselves in order to be effective in caring for others.
Doolittle Home’s Respite Care option eases the burden by providing the highest quality of standards, compassionate care, comfort, and absolute peace of mind. To schedule a personal tour call DeAnna Willis, Executive Director 508-543-2694 x 11