A person who volunteers to be the live-in care provider for a family member runs the risk of encountering severe stress or burnout. Assuming the responsibility of providing elder care for a person who, due to physical or mental deterioration, can no longer live independently is very noble and can enrich the lives of both people involved; if respite care is not set in place, however, the living situation can become seemingly impossible.
The positive feelings that come from providing live-in care to a loved one can, unfortunately, become overshadowed by negative feelings. The stresses of being responsible for the care of another can result in feelings of anxiety, isolation, frustration and fear. In addition to the emotional impact, there is often an impact on the physical health of the elder care provider: The care provider often neglects their own health in favor of the needs of the recipient of their care. When the combination of emotional and physical impact goes unrelieved there are further complications for the care provider in the form of depression and feelings of inadequacy and failure based on their, self-perceived, inability to cope.
This is why there is a need for respite care. The person providing care is given a break from the amount of responsibility while knowing that the safety and well being of the person needing care are guaranteed. There are three basic types of respite available, each suited to different levels of need.
Adult Day Centers offer a community center setting. These centers often provide various programs, entertainment and socialization opportunities for the older person, yet still provide security in the form of experienced personnel to provide different levels of assistance. The majority of centers accommodate a range of participation from all-day, everyday visitors to those who only spend an hour at the center as they feel like it.
In-Home Care Services bring an experienced home care professional into the residence. The hours are more flexible than those of adult day centers and often of longer duration. In-home care professionals can be employed to watch for the person unable to live independently if the primary care provider has an outside job, if the provider of elder care simply needs an hour away for a break from daily concerns, or for an entire weekend when the caregiver needs to travel.
The primary home care provider may initially be hesitant to use respite, but soon finds that taking short breaks from stress to focus on their own needs, both physical and mental, leaves them better able to care for their loved one. The previous negative emotions become, instead, an overall feeling of rejuvenation that leads to a happier relationship between the care giver and the care recipient.
Home care counselors at Safe at Home Healthcare are available to talk with you about your in-home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care, including live-in care. We are an elder care agency providing Home Care in Naperville.