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Ask the Expert – What is Respite Care and How Can I Get It?

Ask the Expert – What is Respite Care and How Can I Get It?

Respite Care West Palm BeachThe Ask the Expert Column appears in the Palm Beach Post every Tuesday!

Question – I am the sole, full-time caregiver for my wife who has dementia, and I’m overwhelmed. What is respite care and how do I get it?

Answer – The emotional and physical demands of caregiving make it hard to be a caregiver 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Without respite care, a temporary break from the demands of caregiving, you may be more susceptible to the effects of caregiver stress, such as depression, exhaustion and other health problems.

If you need someone to come to your home and stay with your loved one so you can get a break, you can utilize the services of a companion or a home health aide.  They can provide your loved one with socialization, cognitive stimulation, safety and companionship. A good respite care program will also include services that are beneficial to you, the caregiver. Often this includes light housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry or assisting with other household chores.

If you’re the primary caregiver for your loved one but other family members are involved in decisions regarding his or her care, it’s important to make sure everyone understands why you need respite care and supports the arrangement.  I recommend having a family meeting to discuss which services to use and agreeing on who will be providing care to your loved one. Making decisions as a family can prevent disputes and misunderstandings down the road.

Cindy Brown, the Vice President of ElderCare at Home says, “Over and Over we hear from caregivers that they do not feel they have the support or respite care to help themselves. Caregivers need to take time for themselves. Grab lunch with an old friend, go to an exercise class to revive yourself, quite stroll through the book store.  Caregivers are afraid to leave their loves ones, worried about their safety, sanity…. Eldercare at Home’s respite program was designed specially with those needs in mind. Our companions and home health care nurses are trained specifically to be with Memory Impaired Patients.  Caregivers can trust our staff to provide appropriate care with dignity, compassion and expertise. Best of all, it is affordable!”

  • Comforting Companions
  • Assistance with Bathing & Personal Care
  • Cognitive Stimulation
  • Games & Activities (based on ability)
  • Nutritious Meal Preparation
  • Medication Reminders
  • Transportation, Errands, Appointments, Escorts
  • Light Housekeeping, Laundry, Dusting
  • Friendship & Companionship
  • Hourly or Live-In Care
  • 24 Hours per Day, 7 Days per Week

Other types of respite care include adult day care and temporary placement into an assisted living facility. If you would like to learn more about the respite care options available to you, call us at 561-588-4545 or email us at [email protected]