According to research done by the National Alliance for Caregiving, more than 1 in 5 Americans provides care for a loved one. For many people, caring for a family member so they can remain in their own home — or yours — is a labor of love, but it does pose challenges. You may have to set aside your personal needs to take on multiple roles, such as nurse, housekeeper and cook, which can take a toll on your mental and physical health. Whether you’re currently caring for a loved one or you’ve just started thinking about taking on that responsibility for an aging family member, let’s look at seven common challenges and how respite care can help you face them.
The demands facing family caregivers can vary, depending on the severity of a loved one's condition, the age and health of the caregiver and whether they're the sole caregiver or share the responsibility. However, if you're regularly providing care for an aging or disabled loved one, you're likely to experience one or more of these seven common challenges.
If you aren't ready to move your loved one into an assisted living community but need time off from caregiving responsibilities, respite care can be lifesaving. These short-term services, which are specifically meant to assist family caregivers who need help, can relieve you from caregiving responsibilities for several hours or up to several weeks. Some respite care services can also be scheduled weekly, biweekly or monthly, so you'll regularly get time off to attend to personal matters or just relax.
In fact, you may want to consider respite care services for your loved one if you:
Whatever the reason, by seeking respite care services, you can take the time you need to care for yourself, so you’ll be able to better care for your loved one in the long run.
Depending on their needs, your loved one can receive respite care in an adult daycare, in a skilled nursing or assisted living community or in the comfort of their own home. Most respite workers are trained caregivers, so you can rest easy leaving your loved one under their supervision. Plus, besides assisting with your loved one’s personal care activities and attending to their medical needs, some respite services may also include laundry, light housekeeping and meal preparation.
If your loved one is considering a move to assisted living, such as a faith-based assisted living community that's part of the Bethesda Senior Living Communities family, residential respite services can also be a great way to let your loved one experience this vibrant lifestyle before making a commitment.