What is Respite Care?
Respite care is when someone other than the primary caregiver takes on the caregiving responsibilities. Respite care is designed for aging individuals who may or may not have a disability. Respite care could be for a short period of time to allow for a break. It could also be for a longer period of time if the primary caregiver has decided to take a vacation or take care of other matters for an extended period of time. Respite care can be given by a family member, a friend or a licensed professional. It can occur at the patient's residence or a respite care center. Respite care for someone aging with a disability can be scheduled or unscheduled.
Who Does Respite Care Help and Why Should it Be Used?
Respite care can help both the patient with the disability and the primary caregiver. Caregiving is sometimes time consuming. Caring for an aging person with a disability sometimes takes up a large time slot. The primary caregiver can receive a break or simply get time to run errands through respite care. The patient benefits because when the primary caregiver leaves, there is still someone there to care for him or her. If the reason for the respite care is to give the primary caregiver some rest, the patient could benefit from having a well rested caregiver when that person returns to their caregiving duties.
How to Find Respite Care
Your state's local bureau on aging can provide you with information on local respite care centers, as well as other information and resources, such as what respite care Medicaid and Medicare may cover. Churches and other religious organizations may also be able to help locate respite care for someone aging with a disability. Some may even provide it.
Others that can help locate respite care for those aging with a disability are the local Alzheimer's Association, social services department, Easter Seals, or a mental health agency. Also, of course, there are family members and friends that you may be able to enlist help from. If you cannot afford to pay for respite care, there may be a friend or family member who will do it for no cost, simply because they care.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network