As a caregiver, you’ve got a lot on your plate. If you are supporting a spouse who has been diagnosed with dementia, some days can be especially overwhelming. The Alzheimer’s Association recommends spouses who are caregivers routinely take a break from their responsibilities to reduce stress and improve their overall well-being.
How Respite Care Benefits Caregivers
Respite services allow your loved one to be cared for either at home or in an assisted living community while you take the time you need to regroup. Some of the many benefits that a respite stay offers include:
- Relax and recharge. Whether you decide to go on a vacation or simply take a few days to rest, respite services can care for your spouse as you enjoy some time for yourself. You will come back to your caregiving duties feeling refreshed!
- Spend time with family and friends. Caring for your spouse probably takes up much of your time and attention. Having someone else take over caregiving duties for a while provides you with an opportunity to reconnect with the other important people in your life.
- Catch up on errands. While yard work and spring cleaning might not be the most exciting tasks, they do need to get checked off your to-do list. Imagine how much easier it would be to get things done if your loved one was safely in the care of a respite provider. You will be free to focus on the work that needs to be done without having to worry about fulfilling your duties as a caregiver.
- Take care of your own health. It’s easy to neglect your own well-being when you’re focused on doctor’s appointments, medication, and other treatments for your loved one. But a sick caregiver is not an effective caregiver. That’s why it’s important to take time to make your health a priority. Respite care can be used so you can schedule your own physician visits and health screenings.
- Establish an emergency resource. Even if you don’t need respite care at this time, it’s helpful to coordinate a plan in the event that you do. Schedule a trial respite stay at an assisted living community —even a one night visit will do—so that you can ask questions and address any concerns you might have. This allows you to be comfortable with this beneficial resource if case an emergency arises.
Addressing Your Questions about Respite Service
Are you nervous about scheduling a respite for your spouse?
Some of the common concerns we hear from families include:
- Worried about cost. You may be wondering how you will pay for the respite services for your spouse. If finances are tight, you may be eligible for financial assistance or government funding. Contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association or your local agency on aging to see what programs are available.
- Training and qualifications. In your search for a respite care provider, be sure to ask questions about the training and qualifications of the staff. The home care agency or senior living community you choose should have a proven track record of senior care experience. If you are considering working with an individual respite care aide, be sure to conduct an in-depth interview, a background check and reference check.
- Feelings of guilt or failure. Many caregivers feel guilty about taking advantage of respite care for their spouse. There is no shame in asking for help, and it is certainly not a sign of failure! In fact, respite care gives you the opportunity to be refreshed making you a better caregiver in the long run.
Peace of Mind at Five Star Senior Living
Family members can feel confident knowing they are leaving a loved one in capable hands at a Five Star Senior Living community. Find out more about respite services for your spouse at a community near you!