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The benefits of respite care

Written by: Amanda Davis

Family caregivers must be mindful of their own health and well-being. Caring for someone else can be exhausting, stressful and isolating. Caregivers need to take time for rest, exercise and other activities in order to prevent burnout. For many people, respite care is the solution.

What is respite care?

Respite care offers informal caregivers a respite, or break, by taking their place for a few hours or days, or longer. Respite care is provided by other informal caregivers or by professional care workers (hired privately or through an agency). It takes place in recipients’ homes, retirement residences or long-term-care facilities. Sometimes, seniors move temporarily from home to a facility.

By helping family caregivers prevent burnout, respite care may extend how long they can support their loved ones. Respite care can also improve the quality of the time they spend with the care recipient.

When is it time to try respite care?

When caregivers notice signs of stress and burnout, they should take steps to arrange respite care. Otherwise, they may become increasingly frustrated, angry or impatient, raising the risk of crisis situations or elder abuse.

If you’re a caregiver, don’t ignore the warning signs. Reach out to family and friends, who may not realize you’re struggling. Explore community and government resources that may be available. Hiring a caregiver for just a few hours a week can help lighten the load and give you a much-needed break. Remember, staying well also benefits your loved one, so take care to practice self-care.

Bayshore HealthCare offers individualized respite care and home health services. Please contact us for more information.

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Call us: 1-877-289-3997 Email us: clientservice@bayshore.ca