Respite care is something that is used to help ease the load on caregivers. Respite care provides short-term relief for primary caregivers, it is something that can be arranged for just a single day or for a long period of time. This type of care can be provided at home, a healthcare facility, or an adult care center. Respite care gives caregivers the time to take a break, run errands, or go out of town for a few days.
Benefits of Respite Care
There are a number of benefits associated with respite care. According to Pennsylvania State University, there have been recent studies that show that caregivers were most satisfied with respire when they used the time to do what they were wanting to do or planned to do. This study mentioned that caregivers who achieved a high consistency between personal and work time are more likely to lead to improved mental health, less burnout, and higher levels of satisfaction.
One of the main benefits that respite care provides is allowing caregivers to go to work. Many caregivers, especially family caregivers are still employed. Unfortunately, these caregivers are more subject to stress as they try to deal with both the demands of full-time employment and caring for a loved one.
Family caregivers report improved physical and emotional health and reduced stress when respite is made available for their loved one. Respite care services can help to restore stability within the home and allow family caregivers to return to their responsibilities feeling fresh and rejuvenated.
One of the biggest reasons that respire care is used is because of the stress and fatigue that many caregivers deal with. Caregiver stress is due to the emotional and physical strain related to caregiving. In fact, caregivers report much higher levels of stress than those who are not caregivers. Caregivers can feel overwhelmed by the amount of care that their family member or loved one needs and it can take a physical toll on their bodies. Some of the common signs and symptoms associated with caregiver stress include headaches and body aches, sadness, irritability, weight fluctuation, feeling alone, and more.
At one point or another, many caregivers will experience these symptoms or others. With that being the case, respite care is important for helping patients get a well-deserved break. Respite allows caregivers to rest, care for personal needs, enjoy time off, engage in activities of interest, and more.
Types Of Respite Care
Home Respite Care — Home respite care is a service in which a person pays to have someone come to the home of the patient and care for them while the family caregiver takes a break or runs errands. Home respite care typically lasts for six hours at a time.
Nursing Home Respite Care — Nursing home respite care is a service in which a person pays to go to a nursing home while the family caregiver goes out of town for a few days without having to leave the patient without having to worry. Nursing respite home care can take place in a number of places including a nursing home, assisted living facility, or other entity. This type of respite care is generally scheduled in advance and services will vary by location.
Benefits of Caregiving
While caregiving can be a difficult process and can even lead to many physical and emotional health problems. With that said, caregiving can also provide a number of positive effects and benefits not only for the patient but the caregiver as well.
According to a study published in Gerontologist, older adults who were classified as high-intensity caregivers had lower mortality rates than non-caregivers. This report suggested that providing care for someone may work to protect one’s own health.
The author of the study, Lisa Fredman, said that caregiving can lead to a number of identifiable positive effects.
“Benefits may include psychological gratification of helping a relative or friend, feelings of having a purpose in life, and greater physical and cognitive activity from performing caregiving tasks,” Fredman said.
While the stress of caregiving can be difficult to deal with and overcome, there are ways that you can improve your situation and take preventative measures to avoid caregiver stress and other related issues.
Tips For Caregivers
There are a few simple lifestyle changes that you can make to help improve mental and physical health capabilities. Here are a few changes that you can make:
Support Groups — Joining a local support group for caregivers can help by sharing stories, learning new caregiving tips, and get support from others who are going through similar struggles as yourself.
Sleep — Getting good sleep, not just quantity but quality, can do wonders for help improving your mood and well-being. One of the best ways to help make your sleep cycle better is to have a sleep schedule and stick to it. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day, even on the weekends, can help to improve your circadian rhythm.
Ask For Help — This goes back to respite care, but if you are feeling overwhelmed or as thought you need help performing some tasks, don’t feel bad about taking some time for yourself or asking an organization for help.
These are just a few things that you can do to improve your situation but there are a number of other things that you can do, like making a to-do list, getting a doctor’s checkup, and exercising, which can all work to improve your mental and physical functioning.
Caregivers provide a challenging and critical duty as they take care of older adults who can no longer take care of themselves. However, this doesn’t come free, many caregivers suffer from a multitude of physical and mental health issues. Luckily, there are ways that caregivers can recharge themselves, like through the help of respite care. For those looking for help for their loved one, Landmark Senior Living is one senior living facility in Fall River that is dedicated to providing the quality care that our residents deserve at this stage in their lives. Please visit our website if you would like to learn more.