The Importance of Respite For Family Caregivers

A family caregiver is someone who takes on housekeeping or personal care tasks to an individual who is in need of assistance. Being a caregiver is a 24-hour job and a break from time to time to go on vacation or look after your own needs is very important. Respite care is a short-term break for family caregivers. All responsibilities of the caregiver are transferred to a health care professional that is trained to provide care for those with special needs or senior citizens who need assistance. Care can be arranged for one or several days a week and can be provided at home, in a healthcare facility or at an adult day center. With this in mind, respite care can be a great help to those who are looking to take time off. Here are some reasons why respite care is important and how it benefits family caregivers.

Reduce Caregiver Burnout –

Providing care can be very demanding and could cause stress, that can eventually lead to burnout. According to Helpguide.org, “Caregiver burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by the prolonged and overwhelming stress of caregiving.” If you notice caregivers become emotionally exhausted, depressed, deprived of sleep or have escapist behaviors like: sex, drugs or alcohol, then they may be ‘burning out’. Relaxation provides caregivers more time to regain their energy to be able to provide good care and continue to be healthy. By utilizing respite care, caregivers can allow time for enjoyable hobbies or something that makes them happy. Respite care not only improves mood but also gives a sense of calm to the caregiver.

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Reduce Depression –

When caring for a family member or loved one, it shows love and commitment which can be a very rewarding experience. However, caregiving can also make caregivers exhausted, anxious and stressed. According to Caregiver.org, “Studies show that an estimated 46 percent to 59 percent of caregivers are clinically depressed.” Respite care allows caregivers to get away and spend time with friends or even take a vacation for a week or two. Getting away from the caregiver role can revitalize perspective, give a sense of self recognition and purpose.

Enjoy Life More –

As previously mentioned, caregivers go through an abundance of emotions that can cause harm to their health. Respite care can not only alleviate these negative emotions, but can also allow caregivers to enjoy life. It can be difficult for caregivers to appreciate life while their family member or loved one is going through hardships. Not to mention, caregivers spend a lot of time in their roles which could cause social isolation. According to the Aging Life Care Journal, “the impact of isolation and loneliness on health and mortality are of the same order of magnitude as such risk factors as high blood pressure, obesity, and smoking.” This can be a big problem for caregivers, which is why It’s important to stay active with friends and family on a regular basis.

At Renaissance Home Health Care and Adult Day Services, we understand the importance of respite care for our caregivers. Our Director of Patient Services, Marise Deaussou, explains that “Caregivers often find it difficult to care for a loved one while juggling personal needs and responsibilities. Respite care is important because it provides vital support to caregivers and helps prevent burnout. This way, caregivers are better able to take care of themselves as well as their loved ones.” Our goal is to enhance our seniors lives by nurturing the mind, body and spirit through our programs, therapies and other Signature Touch Programs.