Life with a family member with special needs accords life-long commitment to accepting constant challenges and stress. Family members feeling overwhelmed at some point is normal but is very emotionally difficult.
At old age, adults rely on their families to take care of them. For children who already have elderly parents or relatives, taking care of them shouldn’t be much of a big deal.
Of course, you love your parents but sometimes you just need a break. This is where caregiver respite serves as a necessity.
Inevitably, family members can get wrapped up in all kinds of stress everyday especially when caring for a loved one with special needs. If you are a caregiver to a family member, you know exactly how demanding and how much time and energy consuming it is just to get yourself and your loved one through the day. Anyone who goes through this needs time to recharge.
Respite care provides temporary relief to families or caregivers by helping take over caring for their loved ones for a time being. This decreases the feeling of isolation and stress by allowing them to have the time to engage in daily activities and tend to their other responsibilities other than caring for their elderly member with special needs.
Caregiver Respite is not a luxury, but a necessity
The role of the caregiver is not often one that we choose to have but is given by circumstance. To be honest, we don’t get to be ready for what the role expects us to do.
Caring for a loved one with special needs can unfortunately become a burden for some families. Apart from stress, some family caretakers often experience burnout which eventually leads to a feeling of isolation, feelings of overwhelm, and depression.
As a family member taking care of an elderly with a disability, taking a break from the responsibility may seem like a luxury. When your loved one has special needs, asking others to take over can be at times guilt-tripping. You might feel as if you are the only one that can do the job of taking good care of them. All these emotional attachment to your role makes it a real challenge to deserve that break.
But here’s the thing… YOU ARE NOT SUPERHUMAN.
There’s only so much that you can do before you will feel emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted. This is why respite care for family caregivers is never a luxury but a necessity.
How does respite care for families help the elderly with disabilities?
When you’re the main caregiver for your loved one with special needs, entrusting your child in the care of others can be hard. Even if you find a great caregiver, it can still be hard to trust someone else to look after your family member while you do something else.
Mental health professionals and family counselors recommend respite home care services for parents and caretakers of the elderly with disabilities. This does not only help caretakers and parents restore their inner resilience and recharge, but it also helps them better take care of their loved ones.
Remember that they need you to be in your top condition and you can only do that by meeting your own needs. By doing so, your loved one benefits as well. By being in the care of others, your elderly members will learn that they can also count on others, thus, helping them get rid of boredom at home and meet other people aside from their family.
Types of Respite Care
Respite care comes in many different options and hiring the service can be flexible depending on the needs of the elderly member to take care of and the family schedule. Here are some services under respite care:
- In-home or home-based respite care provided through profit or non-profit agencies that assign professionally-trained caretakers to make home visits and take over attending to your family member’s needs.
- Companion services or sitter services which provide companionship for adults or children with special needs.
- Adult daycare services that are community-based which allow your loved ones to have moral support, participate in activities with their peers that allow them to experience cognitive and emotional stimulation that help them cope with their condition.
Who Needs Respite Care?
Those who have family members who cannot take care of themselves due to disabilities or illness may need care round the clock. You may use respite care if you are in charge of taking care of someone who has:
- Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
- Children/ members with special needs
- Brain injury, and other conditions that need round the clock assistance or care
Respite care is a very helpful service for those who care for others. The challenge to respite care is that families have to deal with the emotional challenges that associate with it. Starting with allowing their loved ones to be in the care of others. However, this is an important step so families can seek the respite that they need.
Luckily, respite care is a service that is seen nowadays as an essential service in the field of caretaking. Thus, finding a skilled and trusted respite care service today might be easier than you think.