Female respite care worker helps senior woman climb stairs of her home safely.

How Can Respite Care Assist Seniors and Families?

Last updated on June 08, 2022

The U.S. older adult population has grown at an unprecedented rate in recent years. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the number of people caring for an aging loved one has also risen. According to a report from the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and AARP, 53 million Americans provide unpaid care for relatives and friends.

Unfortunately, the demands placed on a family caregiver can be overwhelming and lead to increased stress, anxiety, and burnout. This is where professional respite care can serve as a lifeline to manage the demands of everyday life and reduce the risk of fatigue.

So, what is respite care?

Respite Care Definition

Respite care is short-term relief or backup for primary caregivers to enable them to run errands, do chores, socialize, travel, work, or unwind. For example, professional at-home assistance can be arranged for a couple of hours on the weekend, during a vacation, or during a one-time event with a few days’ notice. In-home specialists from Visiting Angels can accommodate your schedule and meet your loved one’s needs.

What is Caregiver Fatigue?

Fatigue, also known as “caregiver burnout,” occurs when a caregiver feels physically, mentally, and emotionally overwhelmed and exhausted. Symptoms may include:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Inability to keep appointments or manage responsibilities
  • Withdrawal from people and activities
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Unhealthy coping behaviors, such as drug or alcohol use, overeating, or not eating enough
  • Feeling irritable, stressed, exhausted, or isolated
  • Resentment of duties for a loved one

Fatigue is common and is most likely to occur when someone is also managing personal responsibilities themselves or lacks support from friends and family members.

How to Prevent Caregiver Fatigue

Make sure you pay attention to yourself so you can support others. Respite care can be cost-effective and beneficial for your health. Getting a break from the demands of your duties can reduce your stress by providing a window of time to address your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and practical needs.

Do not feel guilty for taking a break. Asking for help — whether from family members, friends, or a professional — will benefit your loved one and you.

How to Start Respite Care

The first step is to contact a Visiting Angels’ coordinator from your local home care office. The coordinator will schedule a free in-home consultation to answer your questions and discuss your loved one’s requirements.

If you decide to use Visiting Angels’ services, the coordinator will conduct a home assessment and work with you to develop a care plan.

When you hire Visiting Angels to provide respite care, your loved one will receive the compassionate, dependable assistance they deserve from a trusted professional so you can make the most of your time away without the hassles or worry.

If you're interested in our compassionate home care services for you or a loved one, contact your nearest Visiting Angels home care agency today or call 800-365-4189.
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