Community Blog

Respite Care for Family Caregivers is Essential

By Debbie Humphrey

I had the opportunity to meet a couple recently who are truly struggling physically, mentally, and emotionally. They are both alcoholics, admittedly. The wife has completely given up on life and is bedridden. The husband has done his very best to tend to all of his wife’s needs to the point of utter exhaustion. To complicate matters, he has health issues of his own, including angina, asthma, and emphysema. His strength is waning, and he is growing more weary with each day that passes.

It is a very sad situation. This poor man desperately needs to practice self-care, so he can continue acting as primary caregiver for his wife. However, he needs a caregiver as much as his despondent wife.

Respite care for family caregivers is essential to everyone maintaining a healthy quality of life. It doesn’t mean the caregiver has failed, it means they are human and need a break. Everyone deserves respite once in awhile, especially when they have taken on the responsibility of caring for another human being… and that person is elderly.

Consumer Affairs has created a clever acronym I want to share to explain the benefits of RESPITE for caregivers:

  • R - Renewal and relaxation: Doing an enjoyable hobby or something that makes you happy regularly can greatly improve your mood and bring a sense of calm to your life. Even just sitting down in a quiet home and watching a movie can be therapeutic.
  • E - Energy: Relaxation makes sure you have time to re-energize so you can provide good care and maintain a healthy balance in your lifestyle.
  • S - Space: Respite care affords you the opportunity to just get away from the role of caregiver for a few hours.
  • P - Pleasure:  Sometimes it's hard for caregivers to enjoy life because their aging loved one may not be. Respite care gives you the chance to do enjoyable things with peace of mind, knowing your loved one is being taken care of.
  • I - Identity: Respite care helps you maintain your sense of self.
  • T - Time away: Extended periods of time away from the care-giving role can give you a refreshed perspective and sense of self. Many people use respite care to take a vacation for a week or more.
  • E - Engagement: Social isolation can be a big problem for caregivers. It’s important to stay active with your friends and family on a regular basis.

Whether you are a family caregiver, or a caregiver considered as part of the family, respite care for family caregivers is essential for everyone’s well-being! Home Helpers® is available to provide non-medical assistance and respite care which includes light housework, errands, meal preparation, transportation assistance, and so much more. I am happy to offer a FREE consultation, and whatever resources at my disposal, to assist with your needs and those of your loved one.

Home Helpers® is honored to have received the Provider of Choice 2017 & 2018 awards from Home Care Pulse, and we proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠  727.942.2539

Source:  Consumer Affairs