How Does Respite Care Work?
Respite care is a valuable service for every family caregiver, helping to prevent burnout and provide professional support for mom or dad when you need a break. This care service works by supplying your loved one with a professional, qualified caregiver or nurse on an as-needed basis, to alleviate a good amount of your caregiving responsibilities. Respite can be provided regularly, a few times a week, or circumstantially. For example, if you are planning a much-needed summer vacation and want to ensure mom and dad are in the right hands while you are away, respite would be an excellent option for you.
If this sounds like a viable option for you and your loved one, here are some of the most important benefits of respite care services to consider when you are caring for your mom and dad.
#1 – Respite provides supplementary skills
It can be very challenging, if not impossible, to manage complex health needs when you aren’t a trained nurse. A skilled respite nurse can supplement your skills and support you when your loved one’s care needs are beyond your medical expertise. For example, if your parent has just come out of the hospital, your respite caregiver can come in to manage tasks like bathing and wound care, rehabilitation, or nursing care.
#2 – Respite provides essential caregiver support
Many caregivers simply don’t have the support they need to properly care for a senior parent and end up trying to do it all themselves, like Superman or Wonder Woman. This is very difficult for anyone to handle and can quickly lead to the dreaded “caregiver burnout.” Respite caregivers are there to provide that extra support, so you don’t have to do it all, all the time. They can take over when you need a break, give you advice on how to manage your parent’s chronic impairment or illness, and take a load off your shoulders.
#3 – Respite improves social engagement
Caregivers often find themselves in situations where they become isolated from friends and family, especially when their loved one needs constant care. This isolation, as well as the demanding work of caregiving, can lead to mental and emotional breakdowns, anxiety, and even depression. Respite care is self-care for family caregivers, giving you the freedom to see friends and family, participate in your community, and take vacations. This social engagement isn’t selfish, it’s crucial to your wellbeing and the quality of care you’re able to provide.
#4 – Respite supports your sense of identity
Family caregivers often see themselves defined by that role, pushing aside all other aspects of their identity. However, it’s very important to your mental and physical wellbeing that you can strike a balance between all your roles – parent, friend, coworker – and not just be defined by being a caregiver. This is very difficult to do if you are the sole caregiver, but that’s where respite care comes in. It allows you to step out of that caregiver role and dedicate time and energy to other aspects of your life and who you are.
#5 – Respite supports healthy relationships
As a caregiver, you spend a lot of time with your parents – and that can create stress, friction, and frustration on both sides. It also means that so much time is spent on taking care of their basic needs that you don’t spend and enjoy much quality time together. This can put a lot of strain on this important relationship. Having a respite caregiver pop in and take over some of the day-to-day care work gives both parties a breather from one another. It also relieves friction by giving your parent someone else to interact with and creates more space where you can have fun together.
#6 – Respite is a stepping stone into community life
Caregiving is as much about considering the future as it is dealing with present challenges. If your parent has been hesitant about going into assisted living but their health is declining, then respite care is a good way to ease them into this environment. At The Shores, respite care residents live alongside permanent residents in the community and get to see exactly what it’s like to be here. They can try out the meals and apartments, get to know residents, participate in community events, and enjoy the beautiful nearby shore towns. This is one of the best ways to get over the fear of what assisted living might be like – showing them the reality of a welcoming community like The Shores!
Respite care services in New Jersey from UMC at The Shores
If you are looking for professionals to help you care for your loved one, either on a temporary or permanent basis, please don’t hesitate to visit our website or call our team. The initial consultation is no obligation, of course, and you’ll quickly see how we can fit into your caregiving team to provide your loved ones with the support, care, and fulfilling life they deserve. You can find out more about respite care at The Shores at: