While respite care services are commonly offered at communities or through organizations, many family caregivers are still unaware of what they entail. Respite care services are a short-term senior care option that can be scheduled in advance or utilized during a time of emergency when a senior’s primary caregiver may be unable to fulfill their caregiving responsibilities.
These services can be used for numerous reasons. If you find yourself in the role of a family caregiver and begin to feel worn out or need a break, they can ensure your loved one is taken care of by trained professionals while you take a step back to focus on yourself. Regardless of why one utilizes these services, they are a great way to ensure the health of a loved one.
Depending on where the services are offered, respite care can place your loved one in a senior living community with full access to amenities and services in the community. The Springs at Simpsonville in Simpsonville, South Carolina, understands that caregiving can be demanding at times, and it is natural for a caregiver to need a break, especially when caring for a loved one with memory impairments.
While informal caregiving can save on costs, it is important to remember that respite care services benefit not only the caregiver but your loved one, as well.
1. Avoid Caregiver Burnout
Being a caregiver is rewarding work, but also has its own set of challenges. The day-to-day handling of these challenges can result in what is known as caregiver burnout.
Caregiver burnout can come with severe effects on the caregiver’s health. It is defined as a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. It’s normal for a family caregiver to focus primarily on their responsibilities to their loved one. But when this happens, he or she can neglect duties to themselves. If you are experiencing caregiver burnout, you may experience:
- Withdrawal from loved ones and friends
- Loss of interest
- Emotional and physical exhaustion
- Weakened immune system.
A variety of events and actions can cause caregiver burnout while you undertake your caregiving responsibilities, including:
Role Confusion – This occurs when the lines become blurred between the individual’s role as a caregiver versus their role as a spouse, child, parent, etc.
Lack of Control – Caregivers may find themselves frustrated at the lack of control they have over their loved one’s health, finances, and skills to properly plan and organize their loved one’s care.
Unrealistic Expectations – It’s easy to think that undertaking the role of a family caregiver will yield immediate results to your loved one’s health. Some caregivers may experience caregiver burnout due to unrealistic expectations they set for themselves or their loved one’s health.
Unreasonable Demands – Many caregivers find themselves working around the clock to provide care while also maintaining a full or part-time job. Juggling all of these responsibilities can be very tasking, and many caregivers can stretch themselves too thin.
There are many reasons why a caregiver may develop caregiver burnout, and many may not recognize the symptoms or overlook them. If you begin experiencing caregiver burnout, it is vital that you take time to refresh and recharge. Caregiver burnout doesn’t only pose a risk to the caregiver; it can also hurt their recipient of care and decrease the quality of care provided. We encourage you to read our blog, Caregiver Health: Tips for Avoiding Burnout, to learn more.
Choosing to pay for respite care services can offer a much-needed break for a caregiver. It provides the peace of mind that your loved one is being cared for by a trained professional while providing a time to relax and focus on your own needs.
2. Beneficial for Loved One
Respite care services can offer your loved one opportunities that informal care may not provide. This includes the opportunity to interact with others who are dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia and similar experiences. Social engagement for seniors is a crucial part of maintaining their overall wellness. It also allows your loved one to participate in activities that are designed specifically for those dealing with memory impairments that work to improve cognitive thinking and brain function.
Respite care services give the family caregiver a break while allowing their loved one to take full advantage of a senior living community. At The Springs at Simpsonville, our respite care guests are treated as full residents. This includes access to all of our amenities, as well as any social, physical, or educational events held at our community. They get to experience everything our community has to offer while you get to take a step back from your responsibilities.
Since respite care services allow a guest to experience a community in its entirety, many families utilize these services as a means to “test” a senior living community. Respite care services can be used for a few hours to a few days with no long-term commitment, making them a perfect way to test a community!
Respite care services offer specialized care that most family members or friends do not have formal training with. A respite caregiver will understand your loved one’s medical needs and symptoms associated with a disease and can help them experience a higher quality of life.
3. Emergency Circumstances
It is impossible to foresee an emergency situation, but they do occur. If your loved one requires constant care and an emergency arises, which causes a caregiver to go out of town or consumes all of their time, respite care services ensure your loved one’s care needs are always a priority.
As a caregiver, the key is to plan ahead for an unexpected situation. Consider utilizing respite care services in a non-emergency situation, so you are more comfortable should the need arise. You should also have contact information handy for your loved one’s physicians and doctors, as well as a list of their current medications, including dosage and frequency.
The Springs at Simpsonville knows how difficult it can be for a family member or friend who cares for a loved one at home. Let our trained respite caregivers be a resource for you. We offer your loved one a furnished, home-like apartment with complete access to a community lifestyle, including medication management, social events, and activities, 24-hour access to our caregiving staff, and more.
We invite you to visit our website to learn more about our short-term respite care services.
This blog was updated on March 15th, 2020