Respite Care

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What is Respite Care?

If you are currently in the role of caregiver, depending on the level of care required, you may rarely be able to step outside of your supporting role. The very role of “caring” can take a physical, emotional and mental toll on your own well-being. This can have negative consequences on both you and your loved one.

Respite care is about helping you maintain a healthy balance so that you can continue to enjoy your own quality of life. It is a transferable service which means that it can be provided at home, in a seniors’ retirement community or a long-term care facility. Respite care means someone else will step in to fulfill your responsibilities.

Respite Care services might be best suited for caregivers showing the following signs:

  1. Lack of sleep from stress or from being “on call”
  2. Little or no physical exercise
  3. Social isolation
  4. Financial stress from missing work due to personal health or a need to tend to your loved one
  5. Burnout as caregiving becomes more demanding and, possibly, 24/7
  6. Depression, frustration and resentment of the situation

This service can be customized to meet your needs; this means it can be all-encompassing such as a short-term stay in a long-term care home, or focused on selected tasks such as:

  1. Personal care
  2. Companionship
  3. Meal preparation
  4. Light housekeeping
  5. Escorted trips for shopping, outings or appointments

Respite care allows you to recharge, reduce your stress and avoid caregiver burnout. It also enables you to spend time with other family members, take a vacation, or take the time you need to handle your own daily affairs. A break from the caregiver role also means that you may return to the role refreshed, with a positive outlook.

Your loved one can benefit from respite care in the following ways:

  1. Cognitive stimulation with art or music programs
  2. Interaction with other seniors
  3. A change of scenery
  4. An assessment by a healthcare professional
  5. A change of pace, and face, from their regular routine

Whether it’s for a few hours, a few days or even a week, respite care can provide caregivers with an extra hand or with some time off to take care of themselves. Respite care can improve the long-term functioning of both the caregiver and the person receiving care as well as prevent crisis situations, including elder abuse.