How Does Respite Care Work?

March 03, 2020 | Blog | Reading Time 4:00 Minutes

Caregivers spend thousands of hours every year supporting friends and relatives with diseases such as Alzheimer’s. But while caregivers are an essential support network, they’re also at a high risk of burnout. Respite care can help you avoid burnout and take care of tasks that are important to your life.

Respite care is a temporary support option for individuals with rehabilitation needs or diseases such as dementia that require part- or full-time support.

Respite care gives caregivers a break from their responsibilities by creating a space where your relative can receive support for their daily needs. Respite care services will handle meal preparation and assistance with daily tasks like eating, as well as medication management and other essential services for individuals with dementia.

Respite care can cover different time frames, but is typically several weeks to several months depending on your needs as a caregiver. Using respite care gives you the ability to better handle work, running errands or taking a vacation to relax and recharge.

For most people, respite care provides the very important break they need to balance their own lives with caregiving. In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at what respite care is and how it works.

How Does Respite Care Work?

Respite care works by providing everything individuals with assisted living or memory care needs require to complete daily tasks and enjoy every day. That typically includes:

  • Fully furnished living environment, usually a private apartment
  • Meals and snacks, customized for individual dietary needs
  • Assistance with tasks such as eating and bathing
  • Activities and entertainment that fit their abilities and interests

In a respite care environment, residents have 24-hour security and health monitoring from trained staff. You, the caregiver, will request the services and determine the length of time your friend or family member will stay. In most cases, respite care is designed to last anywhere from two weeks to two months. If you need a shorter stay, such as for a few hours or a few days, you may want to consider adult daycare instead.

What Are the Benefits of Using Respite Care?

Most people find that caregiving is a rewarding but exhausting experience. Things like seeing your own children or attending a movie with friends are harder to do as a caregiver. Many caregivers even feel guilty over leaving their parent or friend at home alone when they do shift the focus to their own lives.

Respite services are designed to help. Respite care is available on your schedule and can help resolve any concerns you have because you know your loved one is receiving the type and quality of care they need from trained professionals. In addition to providing quality care for a friend or relative who needs assistance, respite care also benefits caregivers in many ways, including:

  • Balance – Caregivers who have respite services are able to take breaks, living a more balanced life that includes more time with family and friends
  • Support – Respite care gives caregivers the support they need for dealing with the complex duties of being a caregiver, such as specialized memory care services
  • Reduced stress – Caregivers can alleviate their burden of care and reduce some of the risks of depression that come with focusing a high level of time and energy to meet another person’s needs

When you use respite care to improve your life you also improve your ability to be a caretaker. If you are tired, unable to focus or stressed, you may miss key clues that your family member needs help or additional support. You also may stress yourself to the point of being ill, which hurts both you and the person you’re caring for. Respite care can help you be healthy, so you can provide the quality of care your family or friend deserves.

When Can You Use Respite Care Services?

You can use respite care services as it fits your needs. When determining if respite care is right for your needs at any given moment, consider these questions:

  • Do you need someone for 24-hour care?
  • Do you want a location where you can bring your family member where he or she can be in a positive, social and supportive environment?
  • Does your family member or friend need help with daily tasks or dementia care?
  • Do you need to take between two weeks and two months away for a vacation or to fulfill needs in your own life?

Finding Respite Care Close to Home

Respite care is available around the country, with different providers offering different services and care specialties. You should research the options near you to find the service that will fit yourself and the person you’re caring for.

If you need respite care in New York, consider The Brielle. We provide full-time care to adults who need assisted living services or memory care for various types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Most of our residents live in our community full-time, but our respite care services are available for temporary stays lasting from two weeks to two months. Our comfortable, welcoming environment is here for you when you need time for yourself. Contact us to learn more about the work we do and how we can help you today.