Many caregivers for the elderly, chronically ill or disabled have become accustomed to the challenges that come with providing care. When you are a caregiver, many demands will be made of you. Although caregivers strive to do their absolute best, caregiving is hardly a task that should be done alone. It is critical for caregivers to avoid becoming too overwhelmed and putting themselves at risk for “burning out.” In situations when a caregiver has been taxed to their absolute limit, some decide to elect respite care so that they may have an opportunity to better recharge and refocus themselves.
What is Respite Care?
It is important for caregivers to remember that maintaining their own health is a vital component in caregiving. This is because, if the caregiver is not functioning in a healthy manner, then their ability to provide effective care for an elderly or chronically ill loved one will be greatly impaired. When a caregiver is nearing the point of total exhaustion, they may elect respite care in order to temporarily pass off their responsibilities so that they may better regain their energy and their ability to focus.
Respite care involves allowing a home care professional to share in the responsibility of caring for your loved one while also allowing them to support you.
Planning for Respite Care
Before simply electing respite care, it is important for caregivers to assess their needs and the needs of their loved ones. Once both of your needs are identified, caregivers may then move on towards identifying the following:
- The type of care that is needed.
- The skill level required to provide the care.
- The frequency that the care is needed.
- Where respite services will be provided.
Identifying Caregiver Needs
When caregivers are assessing their needs for respite care, it is important that they are honest with themselves so that the can benefit as much as possible from any support that they are given. Caregivers should ask themselves what type of support would make them feel best? It may be that a caregiver is struggling with transportation, that there is a need for them to have a significant break in responsibilities or perhaps, they just need more routine free time to maintain a more balanced lifestyle. Caring Hands Matter provides reliable respite care services that can be tailored to fit the unique needs of you and your loved one. To learn more about the benefits of our respite care services, review:
Utilizing Family Members For Respite Care
In some cases, family members or friends may be able to provide a caregiver with temporary relief from their caregiving responsibilities. Family members are often eager to lend a hand but many members will soon find out that even when the responsibilities are shared that caregiving can take its toll. Even families with great communication may run into issues such as uneven distribution of caregiving responsibilities which could lead to a more tense living situation. Below are some tips for encouraging family support and participation.
Practice open communication
Do your best to keep all families members who may be involved in providing care updated on you and your loved one’s condition. This will allow others to appreciate your current emotional, mental, or physical status.
Acknowledge Strengths and Availability
Different family members may be available at different times and some may be suited better than others for certain tasks. After honestly assessing the honest availability of fellow family members, caregivers will be able to better utilize and identify family members who can play a supportive role in caregiving.
Agree Upon Allocation of Caregiving Tasks
The primary caregiver will be charged with providing much of the ailing or elderly individual’s care. However, if other family members do become involved, it may be useful to clearly identify who is going to provide what task and when. By organizing caregiving responsibilities in a written format (such as a calendar), it may help families to better see when caregivers are being disproportionately overburdened, which will allow families to adjust the overall allocation of responsibilities.
Use Technology to Make Communication Easier
Bolstering communication between family member by using certain technologies may help families coordinate more frequently, Oftentimes, there are important conversations that need to be had in regards to a loved one who requires care. If many different adults who live separately are involved, in can be difficult to find time when the entire group can sit down and discuss important issues regarding their loved one’s care. Better utilizing technology and allowing people to meet via video conference will allow everyone to participate in important conversations without straining their personal schedules too much.
In-home Respite Care
In-home respite care is a popular service elected by families nationwide. In-home respite care involves a professional caregiver coming to the home of the elderly or ill individual’s home to provide respite services. Many caregivers find these services to be invaluable. Here are some of the different elements that can be included during in-home respite care:
- Companionship care – a trained professional caregiver oversees the individual who requires care for a short period of time, allowing the primary caregiver to take a break from their responsibilities.
- Personal home care – a home care professional can assist your loved one with the activities of daily living (ADLs). These are essential activities such as personal hygiene tasks, getting dressed, eating, and using the restroom. The level of care that is needed can be determined by the caregiver after receiving a professional home care evaluation.
Enlist Fairfax Home Care Services For Support!
If you are providing care to an elderly loved one or individual suffering from a serious illness and you need assistance, contact Caring Hands Matter today. Our organization provides professional home care services in Fairfax, VA that are designed to alleviate the stress felt by caregivers while providing the nurturing attention needed by the individual who requires care. We provide a comprehensive professional assessment in order to determine how best to help each caregiver. To learn more about the benefits of our respite care services or other home care services, contact us by phone or contact us online today.