As a primary caregiver, your health is as important as the health of the friend or family member you are providing for. You have your own needs, and it is not selfish to attend to them. In fact, it is in the best interest of the person in your care for you to take care of yourself. If your health suffers, then that hinders your ability to adequately provide the care and support they need.
According to a study conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP, there are 53 million people in America who provide unpaid care to friends and family, and 23% of them report that the strain of caregiving has made their health worse. Respite care is intended to ease the burden of caregiving and help primary caregivers relieve stress, restore their energy and remember to balance their needs with the needs of the person in their care.
Types of Respite Care
Respite care can be as simple as a friend or family member stepping in and spending a couple hours with the person in your care. There are professional in- and out-of-home respite care services that can provide assistance on a regular basis as well, if need be.
In-home services can include:
- Companionship for social engagements and supervised activities
- Housekeeping services for daily tasks such as laundry and meal prep
- Personal care services (e.g. bathing, dressing and exercising)
- Skilled care services for help with medications and other medical needs
Adult day centers and residential care centers are both examples of out-of-home respite care.
Operating between standard business hours during the week, adult day centers typically offer regular programming and opportunities for your loved one to be active and socially engaged. Residential care can offer many of the same services and amenities as a senior living community, and can care for your loved one a few days each month, possibly even for overnight stays.
Ultimately, determining the right type of respite care for you and the person in your care will depend on their needs. It’s best to include them in the discussion and make sure that you are both comfortable with an option that will likely require a change in your routine.
What Health Conditions are Supported by Respite Care?
Any time you seek outside support for the friend or family member in your care, your primary concern is making sure the health needs of your loved one are provided for, whether that is cognitive difficulties or another condition that affects their ability to live independently. As far as everyday tasks are concerned, respite care can typically provide assistance. But there are also licensed professionals who can provide many of the same services as a nurse or a certified nursing assistant. These services can range from administering medication to treating wounds, depending on the specific needs of the person in your care.
Can You Afford Respite Care?
Once you have decided to look into your respite care options, the conversation eventually turns to the cost of care. If you’re looking for a standard rate, it may be hard to find, as rates vary from one provider to the next. The market rate for skilled nursing services may be a useful point of comparison, but you’ll need to work with each individual provider to better understand the specific cost of their services. Many in-home respite care providers will charge an hourly rate, whereas an adult day center may charge for each day your loved one is under their care.
Under certain conditions, government assistance programs can help with the cost:
- Veterans Benefits. Veterans and survivors receiving a VA pension might be eligible for respite care assistance through the Aid and Attendance benefit. The VA also offers up to 30 days of residential respite care at certain locations.
- Medicaid. While Medicaid general benefits do not cover respite care, some states have waiver programs available that can help cover the cost.
- Medicare. Medicare does not cover the cost of respite care, however, there is available coverage when a respite stay is used in conjunction with hospice care.
Find Relief in the Respite Care Services at Oak Trace
For a community that cares, pay a visit to Oak Trace in Downers Grove, Illinois. You don’t have to be a full-time resident to take advantage of all that we have to offer, as we offer respite care for the loved ones of caregivers who need a senior care provider they can trust.
Not only can we provide you with peace of mind, we can offer your loved one the kindness and consideration they deserve from a respite care provider. Under our temporary care, they’ll have access to our new state-of-the-art health center, a community of thoughtful and convenient amenities and a bountiful selection of dining options.
If you would like to learn more about our respite care services and how we might be able to support you and your loved one, we encourage you to get in touch with our team.