Caring for a loved one can be a very fulfilling and incredibly loving experience, but it is also extremely exhausting. Give all that you can, but realize you have personal limits. Respect those limits, because if you want to keep caring for your loved one, you have to take care of yourself. Respite care will allow you to do just that. Here are the options that may be available to you.
If keeping your loved one at home is feasible and important to you, you can arrange for in-home respite care. A temporary caregiver comes to your home, gets to know your loved one, their needs, and their normal routine. In this model, friends, relatives, and paid professionals may be used. Depending on the state, Medicaid or Medicare may be used to help cover costs.
Higher Care Facility
Another option is to use a specialized local facility where your loved one may stay for a few days or a few weeks. Many higher care facilities provide temporary respite care. Your hospice nurse can help you determine your options.
Emergency Respite Care
Since life is unpredictable, it is good to pre-plan for emergency respite care. This allows you to have options if you suddenly have to be away for things like work-related issues, funerals, if other family members or friends need you, etc.
Talk to your hospice nurses about options for emergency respite care. Many adult day care, health centers, and residential care facilities provide emergency respite care.
Sitter Companion Services
Sitter companion services are sometimes provided by local civic groups, the faith community, and other community organizations. A regular sitter companion can provide friendly respite care for a few hours, once or twice a week. This service will allow you to get away for a few hours and take care of other things, or just have some much needed ‘me time.’ Most likely your hospice provider can arrange for sitter companion services. Many hospices have highly-trained volunteers available to sit with your loved one.