What is Respite Care?
If you are acting as a caregiver for a parent or other elderly relative, then you know how difficult it can be to manage the day to day. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, it is an exhausting experience. You probably feel guilty as well, because you feel obligated to be a good caregiver, and it is hard to reconcile that with how draining the experience is. That, in turn, often leads to resentment.
These are are perfectly normal feelings, and it’s important to acknowledge them. It is also important to recognize that there are ways to share the burden. Respite care consists of a care companion who can visit your home to provide care and support for your elderly relative. That gives you a chance to leave the house and spend some time on your own to recuperate and relax. Too often, caregivers find it hard to get time for themselves, and they feel guilty about it. But obtaining this respite from caregiving is important for your mental health.
In-Home Respite Care
In most cases the respite care service sends home care assistants to your house. You get in touch with an agency, decide if they are the right fit for you, and then arrange a time for them to provide care. This is your opportunity to do something for yourself without feeling guilty. The phenomenon of caregiver burden is very real: looking after an elderly friend or relative is never as easy as we imagine, and you will experience a heavy mix of negative emotions as well as physical exhaustion. The ability to take some time off because you know your loved one is in good hands is invaluable. Remember, if you do not take care of yourself, then you will not be an effective caregiver anyway. You also need to be fair to yourself: as much as you want to, you cannot sacrifice everything for another person. Eventually, you will become burned out and be unable to provide proper care to your loved one.
In-Facility Respite Care
For cases that might require more medical supervision or a more controlled environment, some respite agencies maintain their own facilities. You bring your loved one to such a facility and the staff on hand will watch over them. This can be especially good for your loved one because they get the opportunity to change their environment, although some prefer more structure and routine.The choice of which kind of care you need depends on the specifics of your circumstance. The primary reason to choose in-facility care is for medical or safety oversight. You need to know that your loved one is in a safe environment with people who will protect and care for them. That way, you can enjoy the time you have to yourself. It will make you a better caregiver as well as relieve the stress and other negative emotions that tend to accompany caregiving.
The choice of which kind of care you need depends on the specifics of your circumstance. The primary reason to choose in-facility care is for medical or safety oversight. You need to know that your loved one is in a safe environment with people who will protect and care for them. That way, you can enjoy the time you have to yourself. It will make you a better caregiver as well as relieve the stress and other negative emotions that tend to accompany caregiving. In-Home Care is becoming increasingly more preferred by elderly loved ones especially if they are living with a partner. If you have questions any question do not hesitate to contact us by calling 780-328-3917.
Why Does Respite Care Matter?
Respite care exists to provide you with a break. Caregiving is more or less a full-time job. It occupies most of your time, energy, and emotional space. The task is complex and you might spend years taking care of an elderly relative. If you do not make some separate time for yourself, you can experience depression, high-stress levels, and even apathy. On the other hand, if you have a regular opportunity to do some self-care outside of the house, then you will be in much better shape. You will be able to reclaim your identity separate from the caregiving work you do, meet friends, talk to people about other subjects, see movies and shows, and so on.
It is easy to get caught up in caregiving and feel trapped. By using a respite care service, you are giving yourself a safety valve for your emotions and time. It helps you overcome those feelings of guilt, resentment, and loss. We have already made a huge difference in the lives of other caregivers in the Edmonton area. Harmony Caregiving meets on Wednesdays to provide a support group and assistance to caregivers. Contact us to learn more about our respite care information sessions.
Does Respite Care Only Benefit Me?
By putting your loved one under the care of experts, you are actually providing them with new social connections and cognitive stimulation. This is particularly helpful for those who are suffering from one of the various forms of dementia, but social interactions and new experiences are important for all older persons. They can remain in the safe, known environment of their home while meeting a new companion who will care for them and pay attention to their needs while you attend to your own. You are also benefiting anyone else in your life who might be affected by these circumstances, like your spouse and children. You can spend more time with them that is not connected to caregiving.
Of course, all of these benefits affect you as well. You will have greater peace of mind and a stronger ability to cope when you have the support of private home care staff and your family. That translate into greater resilience and better health outcomes for you. The goal is to make you as fulfilled as possible in your role as a caregiver, but also in the rest of your life.
When Should I Start Thinking About Respite Care?
Respite services are generally available for those who can no longer care for themselves. This might take the form of a physical or mental decline or both. It may or may not come with an informative diagnosis. As soon as you become a caregiver putting in a significant amount of time, you should start thinking about ways to access respite care and private home care. You will need to put aside some money for this kind of care and do some preliminary research about the organizations in Edmonton.It is not an easy conversation to have or an easy thought to
It is not an easy conversation to have or an easy thought to entertain, because it has so much of the connotation of decline. That is not a welcome prospect for anyone, and it’s something that people tend to be uncomfortable discussing. As soon as you find out that you might be expected to provide care for a long period of time, think about respite care, especially if you will have daily contact. The earlier you can get a respite companion and your loved one into a rhythm of regular sessions, the easier it will be for everyone. You can always get into a respite program later on, but the earlier you start, the faster you can take advantage of the benefits. Consider it an investment in yourself so that you can be the best caregiver to someone you value deeply. It will not be an easy journey, but respite care can make it significantly easier than it would be otherwise.
Respite Care Can Happen Anywhere
Respite care can occur in the in-person model or the in-facility model, or both. The goal is to do whatever makes you and your relative most comfortable. That can vary based on age, diagnosis, prior health industry, and so on. Whatever your home situation is like, call us and we will see what we can do. An experienced staff from a respite care agency can work under a wide variety of conditions.
Do not hold off on calling because you think it would be too much work. The earlier you start making progress in the process, the sooner you will get access to its benefits. Edmonton, like most of the rest of the Western world, is facing an aging population. Demand for aging-related services is expected to increase, so waiting will likely push the prices up.
Benefits for the Seniors
The benefits to the elder person in need of help vary considerably. There are three main benefits that the elderly can get from respite care: better health, better financial security, and a closer relationship with family. Starting with the first point, each respite companion is trained in health monitoring and care. Your loved one will be under the best care available. Home care provides them with professional monitoring without needing to go to the hospital. The home care workers might be able to spot something important that you would miss.
The financial security is also important. When the elderly experience mental decline, they often begin to have trouble with their finances. They can lose track of which bills need to be paid and when, and they might not be able to go shopping anymore. With home care, you can save money compared to being in a nursing home. You will not need to worry about your relative spending money or wasting it.
Lastly, the time alone will mean that you and the elderly person under your care will have a much healthier relationship. While once there was resentment and confusion, now a companion can help them sort out what needs to be paid and make sure all the money is going to the right place. That means less arguments for you and smoother interactions. You will be able to enjoy their presence much more than if your only role in which you interact with them is as caregiver. This way, you will reclaim your ability to relate to them as a friend and family member.
Benefits to the Families
You and your family will benefit significantly from the arrangement. Caregiving cam be a huge source of stress for the family in ways that you might not expect. Home care helps you share that load with someone else who knows the situation and is helping. Taking care of an elderly relative has a tendency to reach in and dominate conversations and space. Just getting away for a little while is enough to ensure some personal time makes it into the schedule. You can talk to the different members of your family, find out what they are feeling, and see if there is any way you can help. You can also find help for yourself in the form of a therapist of some kind. This might be a good idea anyway, because the process is like a long goodbye. The drawn-out nature of caregiving takes a real toll on you and your family. The whole family can support each other and grow closer when they have some respite time. If you neglect these other relationships, that can make the whole experience significantly worse.
Respite Care at Harmony Caregiving
Respite services are one of the best choices you can make when you are faced with an extended period of serious caregiving. They present a good compromise between your obligations to your loved one and your need to take care of yourself. You need to start planning for respite care early to make it fit into your schedule and your budget. It might be necessary to bring your loved one to a facility for respite because they need close medical attention. This might seem like a lot of work, but it really makes a huge difference to your everyday experience if you know that respite care is an option. You gain some time and room to yourself, which is something that you often need to sacrifice while you are giving care to an elderly relative. Both your elderly relative and the rest of your family, as well as yourself, stand to receive significant benefits. Even if those benefits were limited to just you, they would be transformative, and still worthy of your consideration.