Respite Care: Finding What Works for You

The emotional and physical demands of caring for someone 24/7 are far too overwhelming for one person to handle alone – at least they are if you want to maintain your health and sanity. It’s not uncommon for the stresses of care giving to take a serious toll on our physical and emotional well-being. Studies link high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, depression and other health ailments with care giving. Respite care could be your saving grace.

So what exactly is respite care? Respite care refers to a short rest or a temporary period of relief. It benefits the care recipient and provides support to the caregiver so he/she doesn’t feel so alone in the care giving journey. Whether you want to spend time with friends, go to the movies or just catch up on your sleep, respite care means a responsible caregiver will watch your loved one so you can have a well-deserved break.

Don’t make the mistake of waiting for a crisis before taking advantage of respite. And remember that the first step to finding respite care that works for you is to take stock of the skills, type and frequency of services you need.

What is it that you and the care recipient need the most? Is it help with transportation? Someone to do the grocery shopping and cook meals? Assistance with daily walks or other forms of exercise? Companionship for a few hours each day? Bathing and grooming? Or maybe you need help with catheter insertion and transferring?

Answering the aforementioned questions will help you choose from a variety of available respite services:

• In-home care – This enables individuals the comfort and familiarity of remaining in their home environment. You can request a companion who will engage the individual in stimulating recreational activities and provide transportation to appointments. A personal care provider assists with bathing, dressing, feeding and toileting. A skilled health care provider is trained in providing medical care. Homemaker services offer meal preparation, shopping, and housekeeping. Depending on your needs, you can choose one or a combination of these services.

• Adult day care – Group respite care is provided in a structured and stimulating environment outside of the home. This type of respite is typically available Monday through Friday. Daily activities may include music, exercise, art and lectures.

• Residential care – When you need a break, residential facilities offer short term stays. Care recipients can stay overnight, for several days or for several weeks. Home care agencies will also send a companion, caregiver, homemaker or skilled health care provider to stay overnight in your home for as long as you need.

We all know the golden rule of good care giving: first, take care of thy self. Respite care gives you an opportunity to do this. After all, if we don’t take care of ourselves who is going to take care of those who depend on us? Now, go forth and conquer!


Hi Victoria, Where do you live? Have you found a new help already ? Let me know!

Posted by | September 17, 2009 03:30pm | login to reply
Hi victoria: Where do you live sweetie?? Do not worry, God has all this in His hands. He just wants to provide you with someone better. FAITH!! Love Diane :-) Let me know!!!

Posted by DianeTurbeville | September 16, 2009 10:58pm | login to reply
Hi Victoria, It is unfortunate that your caregiver quit without giving you enough notice to find a replacement. I hope you have found someone else who is good with your mother. Please keep us posted and let us know how you handled this situation. By sharing your story you will help others who are dealing with a smiliar situation. Go forth and conquer!

Posted by admin | September 16, 2009 02:12pm | login to reply
Hi Victoria, My name's Kaufoou Moa and I read your letter on CaringSpace.Com.Please call me if you still need care for your mom.My number's (209)740-0446.Victoria call me at anytime and if you need 24/7 care for your mom,than my sister and I will be able to caring for your mom.Please call me or e-mail me at You and I hope I can hear from you soon.Kaufoou Moa.

Posted by KaufoouMoa | September 14, 2009 02:37am | login to reply
I am really in a bind. A caregiver that has been here decided that she would quit today and now I havenohelp for my 90 year old mom . She has stable dementia. She needs assistance walking with the walker and does not respond well to me . If anyone knows who can help me please email me I am alone in this ans must work.

Posted by VictoriaGolembiewski | September 12, 2009 03:14am | login to reply
Sharing caregiving responsibilities makes a lot of sense. It gives the primary caregiver a support network and a chance to get some much-need rest. If you spread yourself too thin you will burn out and that doesn't do anybody any good.

Posted by Sekai Ward | September 11, 2009 01:06pm | login to reply
Caring for the elderly is really a community effort. It can be so exhausting - the more you can spread out the work the better for everyone!

Posted by admin | September 10, 2009 06:52pm | login to reply
The more people you get to help you take care of your loved one the better. I have 24 hour care for both my mom and father. They both have stage 6 and 7 dementia. The caring space has helped me find quality care for my parents. God Bless you for this service that you provided to help the elderly Esther Vincer

Posted by EstherVincer | September 02, 2009 12:29pm | login to reply

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