Prevent CareGiver Burnout with Respite Care
Caregiver burnout is very common when you are responsible for providing full-time care to an aging or disabled loved one. In some cases, burnout can even result in resentment toward the individual they care for, despite their love for them.
The fact is, we all need a break sometimes. That is why respite care exists. If you are a caregiver who needs to take a break and some time for yourself, read more to learn about respite care and how to get it.
What Does Respite Mean?
Taking respite means having a temporary period of rest. For primary caregivers, this typically refers to securing short-term care for your loved one – even several weeks or months – so that you can take a break from the very real burdens of caregiving.
This can allow you to make time for yourself, from going to the gym to connecting with friends. Do not forget to find ways to maintain your sense of self while you are in the midst of giving so much of your time and attention to someone else.
Many Caregivers Are Unaware Of Respite Care
In a 2022 survey of caregivers, Caregiving in America stated that most were unaware that respite care was available. Many caregivers need more education about their options for respite care and how to build a network of support to share the load of providing financial and emotional support to an ailing loved one.
Here are some of the study’s findings:
Fifty-nine percent of respondents reported that they were the primary emotional support system for a sick or impaired loved one.
Twenty-two percent of respondents said they worked more than 40 hours per week as the primary caregiver to a disabled family member.
Forty-eight percent of respondents disclosed they needed emotional support for themselves.
Forty-four percent of respondents shared that they wanted information about where to find respite care.
Caregivers need information about maintaining their own health while supporting a family member. It is essential to prioritize yourself when caring for an aging or disabled relative.
Preventing Caregiver Burnout
The challenges of taking care of a loved one can become extremely stressful. The strain of serving as a caregiver – often unpaid – can make a real and lasting impact on your own health if not kept in check.
Symptoms of burnout that caregivers may suffer from include the following:
- Losing sleep and extreme fatigue.
- Feeling hopeless.
- Having a quick temper.
- Lack of interest in your favorite activities.
If you or someone you know has taken on the responsibilities of caregiving, be aware of the signs of burnout and actively seek support. Respite care is among your potential options.
(If you are caring for a loved one with dementia, you may also be interested in learning more about burnout and other specific kinds of resources available to you.)
What Is Respite Care and How Much Does it Cost?
Respite care gives caretakers a chance to relax and take a break from the responsibility of providing full-time care to loved ones who are aging or disabled. Respite programs offer short-term replacement care. These providers will step in for a short period to take on the responsibility of caring for your loved one. The cost of respite care varies depending on how long you use the service. You can schedule respite care for several days, weeks, months, or longer. Private insurance will typically not cover respite care, unfortunately. If your loved one is covered by Medicare or Medicaid, you may be able to secure five consecutive days of respite care.
Finding Respite Care
If your loved one is not covered by Medicare or Medicaid, don’t worry; there are private organizations that provide this service. These organizations include:
In addition, you may want to connect with a qualified elder law attorney to talk through your options for your loved one.