Being the primary caregiver for a family member can be a very rewarding experience. It can also create many unforeseen problems which can arise without warning. It is estimated that approximately 40 million Americans provide care for an adult friend or relative every year. That translates into roughly 30 billion hours of unpaid care. That is a lot of hours which means a lot of opportunity for things to go wrong. Although the rewards of providing care for a loved one are many, the demands on our physical and emotional resources can be great.
Many caregivers experience frustration, exhaustion, anxiety and real physical illness when they try to do too much without outside support. Too many family members try and “do it by myself”, but often times get in over their head. There have been studies done by AARP which show that 9 out of every 10 family caregivers said that caring for a loved one was more difficult than they thought it would be and 50% felt overwhelmed by the level of care they needed to provide. Unhealthy caregivers cannot provide healthy care.
There is help, and it’s called Respite Care. Respite Care can come in different forms but the bottom line is that it provides the caregiver a break and a chance to recharge. Everyone needs a break, and family caregivers are no exception. Respite Care provides a chance for the caregiver to take time away and enjoy some time to themselves or with their other family members, while still meeting the needs of their loved one. Just taking the time to go for a hike, a bike ride, shopping or planting a new garden can be revitalizing to the caregiver. Taking a vacation alone, with friends or other family members, will often times put a whole new light on the situation and relieve the unseen stress which was present. Respite Care can give you that opportunity.
There are several types of respite care including short stays at a residential facility, adult day care centers, senior centers and non-medical in-home care. In-home Care can be all inclusive from offering several hours of companion care, up to a 24 hour live-in caregiver to stay for a brief period of time. At Living Care Home Services, we specialize in providing caring and compassionate caregivers who can stand in for the family member while they get recharged. We can be there for a few hours or a few days, depending on what services best meet the needs of the family. We often times become part of that” treatment team”, so we can be utilized ongoing to minimize any burnout in the future. There are no long term contracts or financial obligations with respite care, just a chance to step back and recharge.
Family caregiving is a beautiful experience when we accept the help that is available. We need to remember the old saying that we need to put the oxygen mask on ourselves before we can help others. Give yourself a break today and give us a call.