When you are part of a family, caring for aging-in-place loved ones often requires a team approach. Helping an elderly parent or grandparent perform activities of daily living (ADLs) isn’t always easy with your own household and job to manage. And although it’s highly gratifying, serving as a family caregiver can be physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. No matter what role you find yourself serving, here’s why respite care should be an essential part of your family’s overall care plan.
Warning Signs of Caregiver Fatigue
Most family caregivers eventually feel overworked and overwhelmed. There are days when it seems like no matter how hard you try, your loved one’s condition keeps getting worse. When that happens, the tendency is to invest more and more time into their care. If you’re not careful, those emotional ups and downs can trigger caregiver fatigue or even full-blown burnout.
Here are the warning signs of caregiver fatigue:
- Feeling mentally and physically drained all the time
- Sleeping not enough or too much
- Anxiety and depression
- Constantly feeling worried or overwhelmed
- Disinterest in activities once enjoyed
- Lack of exercise
- Rapid weight loss or gain
- Substance abuse including prescription meds
What Is Respite Care?
Caring for an elderly, sick, or disabled family member can be a 24-hour job. Every so often, you’ll need to take some time off to tend to your own needs. Respite care is a commonly used term that describes a temporary break for caregivers. Those caregiving breaks can be as long or short as you need for them to be, whether it’s for a few hours, days, weeks, or longer.
Respite Care Sources
Once caregiver fatigue sets in, it can place the health and wellbeing of you and your fellow family members at risk. Personal relationships can also suffer as patience grows thin and childhood conflicts resurface.
Taking advantage of these respite care sources will help prevent that from happening:
For a fee, adult daycare centers cater to seniors by providing light assistance with normal, day-to-day activities like nutritious meals, elder-friendly transportation, and socialization. The level of care provided varies by center, as some adult daycare facilities even offer comprehensive medical and therapeutic services.
Many communities offer free programs and services specifically designed to give overworked family caregivers a break. Those can be found through the ARCH National Respite Network Locator. You can also access community respite care resources via the Family Care Navigator or your local chapter of the Agency on Aging.
Senior transportation services
Losing their driving privileges is a significant blow to your loved one’s freedom and independence while giving you yet another thing to worry about. Many larger communities offer public transportation and paratransit services for elderly riders at discounted rates. Setting up your senior with a ride-sharing service is also a good way to give yourself a well-deserved break.
Professional respite caregiver
Like other forms of senior care, in-home respite care relies on the assistance of professional caregivers that provide a wide range of personal care services to support aging or ill adults and their families. Respite care needs vary, from a few hours a day or week to 24-hour, around-the-clock care.
In general, professional in-home respite caregivers are highly trained to perform these services:
- Light personal care, such as bathing and grooming
- Socialization, including conversation and companionship
- Food shopping, meal preparation, and cleanup
- Running errands
- Light housework
- Medication management
Flexible In-Home Respite Care for Seniors in Bradenton, FL
Although it’s highly gratifying, caring for an aging family member can also be overwhelming. At First In Care, our compassionate respite caregivers can step in and provide your seniors with the care and companionship they so desperately need. While serving as an extended family in your loved one’s home, our highly trained professionals understand what’s required to maintain a client’s quality of life, along with their dignity and self-esteem.
Uniquely tailored to your family’s needs, First In Care can provide in-home support for daily living activities like personal hygiene, light housework, medication reminders, dementia care, transportation, and much more. Our senior caregiving services are affordable, flexible, and always delivered in a seamless package that restores your peace of mind. To learn more now about our private home health and concierge services in Bradenton and Manatee County, Florida, please visit www.firstincare.com.