Community Blog

How to Engage Family Members in Providing Respite Care

By Denise Roskamp

Elder Care in Concord MA


Respite care is someone who can step in and provide respite, or a rest, for you, the primary family caregiver. Your logical first choice is probably another family member, but it can be difficult to find the right help.

Talk with Your Family Members about Your Needs

Sit down and let your family members know what you need from them when it comes to respite care. Since they're not your loved one's primary family caregivers, they may not understand the kind of stress and pressure you're under on a daily basis. Keeping them informed can help them to understand just what you're going through and can go a long way toward inspiring them to pitch in and help you when you need it the most.

Ask Family Members What They Can Do

Some family members may have more time and energy available to help you with respite care. If you have a family member who can sit with your loved one for an hour while you run errands, that's still helpful. Other family members may be able to spend an entire day with your loved one now and again, but not every time that you need them to. Stick with reasonable expectations, both on your part and on theirs, so you can get the best results.

Stick to Your Guns

Once you have a respite care plan in place, stick to your guns. It's easy to back out when you start to feel a little bit guilty about leaving your loved one with someone else. But you've done a lot of work to get to the point where you have someone ready to give you some respite time, so you need to take advantage of it. Don't talk yourself out of the time that you need.

Have a Backup for Your Backup

Occasionally, something will happen and the person who was going to step in for you has an emergency of their own. That's to be expected, unfortunately, because that kind of thing does happen. What you do need to do is to have a backup in place for the person who is backing you up. That might be another family member who is also available or it might be an elder care provider. The key here is to have someone else who can step in so you can still take the time that you need.

Now that you have a plan for engaging your family members, it's time to schedule some respite time for yourself.

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING ELDER CARE IN CONCORD, MA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS TODAY. CALL NOW (508) 545-0164.