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The Importance of Respite Care

Family caregivers need opportunities to spend time away from their loved one in order to maintain their own emotional, mental and physical health. Respite care services allow other caregivers to enjoy brief periods of rest and relief, knowing with confidence that an experienced caregiver is providing for their loved one in their absence.

Over time, caregiving can be a burdensome and tiresome job, especially if you are juggling other responsibilities in your life. If you are a family caregiver, especially if you’re trying to do everything, it is important to heed the advice of others and take care of yourself first. Only when you are feeling healthy and refreshed, can you expect to adequately take care of someone else and their needs, and the sooner you seek help, the better it is for all concerned.

Gathering information about the stresses involved with caregiving is the first step and actively seeking help is the next. There are many helpful websites, including Family Caregiver Alliance and Caring.com, two good places to start researching the needs of family caregivers.

WeCare Home Assistants has provided respite care services for many families, and it is one of our more rewarding challenges. For one thing, we see family caregivers getting a much needed break. We see adult children dressing up and getting out of the house more, starting to have fun they hadn’t had in a while. We see spouses getting some time alone, or with friends, to enjoy a movie or a book or a hobby, or going shopping by themselves.

Another thing we see, and clients comment on, is a difference in the client’s behavior. “He was apprehensive at first, but my dad is talking more and looking forward to the caregiver visits,” or “My mom seems more upbeat now.” A new, friendly and caring face in the home can sometimes make a big difference.