What is Respite Care?
The purpose of respite is to allow the caregivers to rest, recharge and remember that there is life beyond caregiving. Respite care may be planned or an emergency, in your home or elsewhere, for a few hours or a couple of days a week. Respite care brings temporary relief to primary caregivers of persons with special needs. Respite provides an opportunity for caregivers to have some time to care of themselves.
Examples of “respite” include:
- a trip to the grocery store;
- a visit to the caregiver’s own doctor;
- lunch with a friend;
- attending a function;
- taking a nap;
- a few days away; and
- a chance to relax with piece of mind, knowing that your loved ones are well taken care of and not alone.
Why is respite care important?
Families caring for someone with special needs in the home often live with high levels of emotional, physical and financial stress. Because of the demands of ongoing care, many families do not have the occasional short-term periods of rest and relief that are so important to an individual's health and family stability. By providing breaks to the family, respite services are a vital support to families’ ability to provide continued care in the home.
No one can expend their energy, strength and time giving to someone else, especially in the demanding role of family caregiver, without replenishing their own reserves. Sooner or later, something has to give.
Who Are Caregivers?
A family caregiver is someone who is responsible for attending to the daily needs of another person. Family caregivers are responsible for the physical, emotional and often financial support of another who is unable to care for himself or herself due to illness, injury or disability. The care recipient may be a family member, life partner or friend.
Caregivers often struggle with:
- their own health issues;
- lack of employer-sponsored support; and
- emotional stress.
Four out of 10 people in the United States are working and caring for a child or adult with significant health conditions. Statistics show that most caregivers are:
- female, average age is 48;
- over 70% are caring for an older adult;
- woman provide an average of 22 hours per week of care;
- men provide an average of 17.4 hours per week of care;
- approximately 84 percent of respondents report concern about their own health;
- over 80 percent of respondents report not having enough respite care; and
- over 20 percent report being concerned about meeting monthly financial needs.