The Value of Respite Care
res·pite :ˈrespət,rēˈspīt/ noun. A short period of rest from something difficult; an interval of relief.
It is truly incredible. The amount of work that goes into caring for an ailing or elderly loved-one can be daunting. Seniors face many changes in the later seasons of life, one often being the capabilities of their partner suddenly declining.
Sadly, we often see the sharp decline of both the patient and the family caregiver during the caregiving process. Physically and emotionally taxing, the impact this role takes on an individual’s health can be drastic. This is especially noticeable when one is tasked with providing care for a loved-one suffering from Alzheimer’s, Parkinson disease or dementia.
Many seniors, especially women, prefer to be the primary caregiver for their ailing loved one. In the home health care industry we completely understand that sentiment. There is nothing more valuable than the care that goes into assisting elderly or disabled individuals with their activities of daily living. However, it is such a taxing lifestyle and the caregiver is often facing their own illnesses and challenges.
VIP America recognizes the significance respite care can play in such instances. So significant in fact, that the occasional relief that comes from taking advantage of respite care services may have a direct impact on the lifespan of a family caregiver. According to an article published by the Family Caregiving Alliance, caregiving related stress experienced by spousal caregivers over the age of 66 experience a 63% higher mortality rate than their peers who are not tasked with caregiving.
It is important for adult children and close loved ones to recognize the warning signs of family caregivers in need of a break. Some of these may include:
- Sudden weight loss
- Sudden changes in health
- Unkempt appearance or poor personal hygiene
- Inability to keep up with household chores
When counseling a husband or wife who may be entertaining respite services for their loved ones we always try to communicate the important of regular relief when involved in intense health care situations. It is important to realize as a family caregiver that if something were to happen to you, who would your loved on depend on? There is no selfishness in self-care. It is simply a necessity to the face the obstacles caregiving places in our day to day lives.