Who will take care of mom while I am away?
If you are a family caregiver, this might sound familiar:
You use up most of your vacation time to help your elderly parents with their healthcare and other needs and that leaves little time for yourself.
- If your parents live at a distance, that’s where you go on your vacation.
- If your loved one lives with you or nearby, it feels like an overwhelming job for you to go away on your own. You’ll worry the whole time, so you wouldn’t even be able to enjoy that beach resort or city tour?
When you are responsible for the care of a loved one, summer vacations or weekend getaways may seem out of reach. The questions race through your mind: What happens if Mom falls? Who will remind Dad to take his medications? What if there is a storm? You feel overwhelmed and put off your own plans.
But not taking time away from caregiving responsibilities can lead to bigger problems—caregiver burnout, stress, or poor health. With a little extra planning and help, primary caregivers can take a break.
What is Respite Care?
Respite care is temporary relief from the caregiving duties of looking after a love one who requires frequent, monitored care.
We all need a break at times and caregivers often need a little time off from their round-the-clock caregiving. Respite care helps ward off burn out that can leave caregivers depressed, stressed out and exhausted. Caregivers should never feel guilty about establishing a regular schedule of respite care. Respite care allows you to be a better caregiver because you get time to relax and be refreshed.
The length of time respite care lasts is entirely up to you. Perhaps you want to go on vacation and need an entire week or you’d prefer a regular schedule of one or two days per week.
Caregiving is exhausting and difficult work, but with some extra planning and research, it is possible to take some time away from your caregiving responsibilities to recharge your batteries.
Help paying for Respite Care
The Connecticut Respite Care Program provides caregivers with services and help with developing a care plan for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia disorders. Eligible caregivers may apply for daytime or overnight respite services including: adult day care, home health aide, homemaker/companion, skilled nursing care or short term assisted living stays. The program pays for up to $7,500 in respite care services per family, per year. A 20% co-payment of the cost of service is required.
There is help, in tomorrow’s post you can learn about all the ways Geer can help with respite care.