May 12, 2017 by Kristina Butler
Whether a break is scheduled or arises due to an emergency, one reality of family caregiving is that a time may come when you will not be able to be there to provide essential services for your senior loved one. When this happens, who is going to provide essential daily living supports or supervision so they can remain safe and independent?
Respite care is the name given to short-term, temporary care provided to seniors so a family caregiver can take some time off. The care is generally limited to less than five consecutive days, but it may only last for a few hours. Some respite care is planned in advance, but other times a respite care provider will respond to an emergency situation.
Planning early for respite care not only ensures support is available when it is needed, but it also ensures caregivers are familiar with the specific and unique characteristics of your loved one's situation. Many daily living activities may be easily understood, such as light housekeeping, laundry, and washing dishes. Other areas of care are best provided by a caregiver with knowledge of your loved one's likes, dislikes, temperament, care preferences, and so forth. This more intimate one-on-one care is particularly important when dealing with eating, toileting, bathing, grooming, and dressing. While most caregivers can accomplish these tasks, an established one-on-one relationship helps preserve a senior's privacy, dignity, and self-esteem.
Having a caregiver who is familiar with a senior's routine, dietary preferences, and risks also keep a senior safe and happy. From choosing foods a senior likes and preparing them in the proper way to making sure medications are taken properly, a respite care provider with knowledge of the senior's situation makes a difference. Familiarity becomes even more important when dementia or Alzheimer's disease is present. These ailments, along with other risk factors, such as frailty, issues with mobility, age-related degeneration, and other chronic disorders can be best addressed if a caregiver has developed a relationship with the senior and understands their tendencies.
In short, respite care is an important component to the caregiving puzzle. To best serve the senior while the family caregiver is gone; however, a respite plan should be in place. To be most effective, the plan should include the development of a one-on-one relationship between the senior and respite caregivers.
Contact us or call (513) 208-2414 for more information about home health care services and schedule a free in-home consultation today.
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