As McDonalds so succinctly told us, “You deserve a break today.” If you’re the primary caregiver of your elder loved one, you undoubtedly understand the sentiment. But how does one take a ‘break’? The answer is Respite Care!
Respite Care for the elderly is a short-term stay at a senior living community. While often used by seniors who are recovering from a hospital visit or other health circumstances, it is also available for other circumstances as well. When the caregiver takes a vacation or just needs a break, respite care is a fabulous service to use. Whether its just for a few hours or a few weeks, respite care givers take over for you, ensuring your loved one is well cared for during your time away. The services is designed to provide relief to the primary/regular care giver (usually a family member). Respite caregivers are also available to come to your loved one’s home to help with task such as going to doctor’s appointments, picking up prescriptions, grocery shopping as well as meal preparation and light housekeeping duties. There are a variety of skill levels for respite caregivers, from nurses, home health aids or simply assistants. Respite caregivers are typically trained in collaborating with the primary caregivers to understand and help resolve any concerns and encourage open communications with other family members to accurately assess the respite needs.
While Medicare does not cover Respite Care in most cases, there are funding options that may be available. A great resource to find options is www.211.org – a free and confidential service that helps people across the country find local resources for many situations. You can also contact your state and/or federal Elder Care Offices or the Aging and Disability Resource Center in your state to access respite care options. Many states also offer coverage through Medicaid and some have separate caregiver support programs known as 1915C Home and Community-Based Waivers.
Being a primary caregiver for your loved one is a rewarding and loving experience yet to be the best you can be, you need to take care of YOU too! Respite Care may be the answer!