Millions of Americans each year volunteer their time and talents to care for aging, disabled, or ill loved ones. Known as “family caregivers,” many of these selfless individuals manage a job and household along with their caregiving duties. And although serving in the role of family caregiver is highly gratifying, it can also be physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. If this sounds familiar, here’s why respite care could provide you with the relief you so desperately need.
Do You Have Caregiver Fatigue?
Most family caregivers eventually feel overworked and overwhelmed. There are days when it seems like no matter how hard you try, your loved one’s condition keeps getting worse. The tendency when that happens is to invest more and more time into their care. If you’re not careful, those emotional ups and downs – along with the physical demands – can lead to caregiver fatigue or even burnout.
These are the signs and symptoms of caregiver fatigue:
- Feeling tired all the time
- Sleeping too much or not enough
- Anxiety and depression
- Constantly feeling worried or overwhelmed
- Disinterest in activities once enjoyed.
- Lack of exercise
- Rapid weight loss or gain
- Substance abuse, including prescription meds.
What Is Respite Care?
Every so often, you’ll need to take some time off to tend to your needs. Respite care is a commonly used term that describes a temporary break for caregivers. Those caregiving breaks can be as long or short as needed, whether for a few hours, days, weeks, or longer.
Where Can I Find Respite Care?
Once caregiver fatigue sets in, it can place the health and well-being of you and your care recipient at risk. Personal relationships can also suffer as patience grows thin and old rivalries resurface.
The most obvious respite care source is trusted family members, friends, and neighbors. When not enough family caregivers are available, it’ll be time to proceed to “Plan B.”
These are some additional respite care sources you may want to consider:
Community programs for the aging
Many communities offer free programs and services specifically designed to give overworked family caregivers a break. You’ll find those through the ARCH National Respite Network Locator. You can also access community respite care resources via the Family Care Navigator or your local chapter of the Agency on Aging.
For a fee, adult daycare centers cater to seniors by providing light assistance with normal, day-to-day activities like nutritious meals, elder-friendly transportation, and socialization. The level of care provided varies by center, as some adult daycare facilities even offer comprehensive medical and therapeutic services.
Senior transportation services
Losing their driving privileges is a significant blow to your loved one’s freedom and independence, giving you one more thing to worry about. Many larger communities offer public transportation and paratransit services for elderly riders at discounted rates. Setting up your senior with a ride-sharing service is also a good way to give yourself a well-deserved break.
Professional respite caregivers
Like other forms of senior care, in-home respite care relies on the assistance of professional caregivers that provide a wide range of personal care services to support aging or ill adults and their families. Respite care needs vary, from a few hours a day or week to 24-hour, around-the-clock care.
In general, professional in-home respite caregivers are highly trained to perform these services:
- Personal care (bathing, dressing, grooming, etc.)
- Food shopping, meal preparation, and cleanup
- Running errands
- Light housework
- Medication management
Flexible In-Home Respite Care for Families in Virginia
Although it is highly gratifying, caring for a loved one can be physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting. When you need assistance, contact AmeriCare Plus in Virginia. We are a fully licensed and insured home care provider with highly trained professionals who are experts at delivering the nurturing that your loved one deserves. While serving as an extended family in your senior’s home, our compassionate caregivers can perform duties like respite care, personal care, dementia care, companionship, medication reminders, and even live-in and 24-hour care.
Our agency’s focus is maintaining your loved one’s quality of life, along with their dignity, self-esteem, and independence. For your added convenience, all our in-home services can be individually personalized into an affordable package when and where you need them! Please visit AmeriCare Plus online now to learn more about us or schedule a FREE initial consultation for a senior in our service area.