While the importance of the physical and mental health of our elderly loved ones remains paramount, the overall health of caregivers is too often overlooked. The demands of taking care of an elderly parent can sometimes become overwhelming. Caregivers need and must take breaks. Respite care for elderly parents provides short-term breaks that can relieve stress, restore energy, and promote balance in the lives of caregivers.

What is Respite Care?

Respite care describes temporary care that allows regular caregivers to take a break, either for a few hours or a few days. The most common use of respite care for an elderly parent is when the caregiver, on a daily or weekly basis, must work outside the home. Other common reasons people may take advantage of respite care include:

      • When caregivers need to take care of their own medical issues, like physician checkups and dental appointments.
      • To visit with friends and other family members, exercise, or simply run errands.
      • When the caregiver gets unexpectedly sick, injured, or have another family emergency.
      • Savvy long-term family caregivers who can afford residential respite care tend to do so once or twice a year so they can get away for a long weekend or a weeklong vacation.

Any break, for any reason, helps caregivers return to their responsibilities feeling less stressed and better able to provide good care.

Tips to Making Sure You Find the Right Respite Care

Here are some tips for making sure you find the right respite care facility:

      • Visit the facility. Have a meal there. Is the food good?  Can your loved one have snacks outside of regular meal times?
      • Watch how staff and residents interact. Is the staff smiling? Are residents happy?
      • If your loved one has dementia, make certain that staff is trained in providing care to people with dementia.
      • Be specific about what your loved one needs. What activities are provided? Are there activities scheduled on weekends?
      • Discuss compensation and payment schedules.

Finding the best available respite care for your elderly parents allows caregivers the opportunity to recharge their batteries and be of more effective help to their loved ones. Discover Health provides advocacy services to support caregivers and their loved ones with personalized strategies to manage complex care. Find out more by reaching out to us today.


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