Respite for Caregiver Burnout
Caregiving is an extremely demanding and strenuous job. Caring for an elderly or any ill or disabled family member, takes a toll on the health of the caregiver, leaving little or no time for them to relax and rejuvenate. The job of caring for someone 24/7 is certainly not easy. Working round the clock without respite can prove to be fatal for the caregiver. Taking temporary breaks in between is extremely essential for their physical and mental well-being and to prevent caregiver burnout.
Caregiver burnout is a state, wherein the caregiver is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. This is often accompanied by a positive and caring attitude to the negative and non–caring behavior of the caregiver. A caregiver’s burnout is often the result of compassion fatigue, wherein the caregiver does not get the required help and relaxation time from their job of caregiving. Working tirelessly and selflessly round the clock more like a machine, causes caregiver burnout to set in. Caregivers who experience “burnout” often fall prey to anxiety, depression, fatigue, and stress.
Caregiver burnout – a serious problem
Caregiver burnout is a serious problem, that needs to be addressed without any further delay. While exhaustion, fatigue, stress, and anxiety are some of the signs of caregiver burnout; one must also know what are the symptoms for the same. Below is a brief list of symptoms of caregiver burnout.
- Loss of interest in activities one used to enjoy engaging in
- Self-withdrawal from family and friends
- Poor appetite or even change in appetite
- Improper sleep pattern
- Becoming sick more than usual
- Trouble concentrating
- Feelings of wanting to hurt self or the person whom you are caring for
- Lack of compassion for the loved one
- Feeling of hopelessness and helplessness
If you ever happen to notice any of the above symptoms in your family or friend who is a caregiver, then it is advisable to offer help immediately. The caregiver who is suffering needs respite care to rewind and prevent caregiver burnout.
Preventing caregiver burnout – respite care to your rescue!!
It is a well-proven fact that caregiving is an extremely demanding job, and extremely strenuous, more so, when the person whom you are caring for is terminally ill and is in the final stages of life. In such circumstances, caregiving can take a toll on one’s emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Caregiving can become an exhaustive and strenuous task while caring for the following groups of people.
- Cancer patients
- Brain injury
- Other brain disorders
- Have survived a stroke and paralytic attack
- The blind
Balancing Act: Navigating Caregiver Burnout with Respite Care Solutions
Balancing family care amid demanding conditions often falls on spouses or children, leaving caregivers overwhelmed and prone to burnout. The relentless responsibilities of managing both home and work life leave little time for caregivers to care for themselves. The resulting burnout necessitates a vital solution — respite care. Taking a break from caregiving duties is crucial for rejuvenation, benefiting not only caregivers but also their loved ones. Respite care services offer the needed relief, allowing caregivers temporary reprieve while professionals attend to their loved ones. Tailored to individual needs, services range from in-home respite care to adult hospice options. Acknowledging the importance of self-care through respite services is essential for maintaining a sustainable caregiving journey.
What is respite care?
Taking care of an elderly loved one or a family person who is ill and requires support, can indeed be a rewarding experience, but at the same time can be exhausting, frustrating, and emotionally draining. According to the report by Caregiving in the U.S. 2020, it was found that more than 1/3rd of family caregivers consider the job of caregiving to be highly stressful in terms of emotional health and about 1 in 5 caregivers find their job highly physically straining. We all must understand that a caregiver needs a caregiver – and that caregiver is someone who will attend to your loved one for at least a few hours, or some days in a week or fortnight; whatever best suits your needs.
Respite care gives the caregiver a much-needed temporary break from their daily work of caregiving. It helps them rejuvenate, which is beneficial for both the caregiver and their loved ones. Respite care is available in many forms, through family or friends, elderly care organizations, certain volunteer groups, federal agencies, local agencies, and even paid respite workers also exist. However, despite the several options available, sadly only a few caregivers resort to respite care.
Why is respite necessary for a caregiver? – they too deserve a break!!
Respite care enables the family caregivers to unwind themselves and bring back the lost balance in their lives. It is extremely crucial for all family caregivers, as it would allow them to recover from their stress and also take care of other important things in their lives.
As a primary caregiver, you may want some time for yourself to relax and unwind amidst the never-ending and ever-demanding duties and responsibilities. In the thick of all this chaos, the caregiver must get some respite. This will be beneficial for not only the caregiver but also the person, whom you are caring for. Taking a break will work wonders for their mental and physical wellbeing.
Here are some of the benefits of opting for respite care:
Relaxation and rejuvenation:
When you know that your loved one is being cared for and is safe, you can certainly consider taking a break. A leisure walk or a visit to the mall or some museum, and doing whatever that brings you joy, can help you calm and bring down your heart rate and uplift your mood.
Getting the much-desired break and doing whatever makes you happy gives you immense pleasure. There is no reason for you to feel guilty and keep yourself devoid of the pleasures of life.
When you get some time away from your busy schedule of caregiving, you can see and understand many things clearly and get a proper perspective. You also get better ideas to help you tackle the task of caregiving more efficiently.
This is one of the most important benefits of respite care. When you go on a break, be it for a few hours, you come back re-energized which is particularly necessary for your physical and mental well-being.
Types of respite care
Respite care is meant to give the caregivers a temporary break from their job of caregiving. In this, someone else provides care, while the caregiver can take some time off to finish their daily activities or simply relax. There are a lot of respite care options that are available. These include the following:
In this health care personnel come to your place from registered agencies to take care of your loved one, when you are not there.
Adult care respite centers: Many communities have adult care respite centers, wherein these centers provide care not only for elderly adults but also for young children.
Weekend or overnight respite:
This type of respite care can be made available in a variety of settings such as respite cottage–style houses or even at the homes of the host family.
Emergency respite care:
Emergency respite care is opted for when for some reason you are not able to fulfill your duties as a caregiver. This can happen when you are unwell or sick or have to attend some emergency at your workplace or family. Every respite center has an emergency facilitated unit. You simply would have to call their helpline and ask for their emergency services.
Short-term nursing homes are also available, such as assisted living homes, and memory care homes, where your loved ones can stay for a few days, while you take a break and de-stress yourself.
Embracing the Necessity of Respite Care for Caregivers and Loved
Opting for respite care services can sometimes make you feel guilty for leaving behind your loved ones with someone else. However, you need to understand that a break is necessary for both the caregiver and their loved ones. In many cases, your loved one would also enjoy the company of some other caregiver and it would be a break for them from their daily routine. If they are placed in some adult respite centers or nursing homes, chances are there, that they would get to meet other people of the same age group and share their concerns and worries. Like this, respite care services can prove to be a boon for the caregiver and their loved ones.
Even though all respite care services are available, one must never forget about the option of family and friends who might be available on short notice to take care of their loved ones.
In addition, one must also be ready for emergency respite care. This is required if you are unable to reach the person whom you are caring for due to some illness or accident. Plan, and make a list of people whom you can contact in case of an emergency. The list should contain contact details of some relatives, friends, or neighbors who can reach your place on time and take over the role of the caregiver, till some other alternative arrangement is made.
Cost of respite care
The cost of respite care would vary depending on the type of respite care you opt for. Some of the respite care services are free of charge, like, when you involve your family or friends. When you would require out-of-the-home respite care services, the charges would depend on the type of care you want, the period as well as the provider.
One must remember the fact that respite is a short-term solution, which is intended to prevent or thwart the future expenses of long-term health care. If you are ill or unwell due to long hours of caregiving, and miss your days at work, then the expenses incurred in terms of physical and financial losses would be much more than the respite services opted for now. Therefore, opting for respite care at the right time would be a wise decision.
The cost of respite care would strictly depend on the number of hours and the type of respite care you are looking for.
• Cost of home-based respite care:
The cost of home-based respite care will depend on how many hours of service you would need. It would also depend on the nature and extent of service required. The caregivers that would come to fill in are HHA or CAN-certified. According to visitingangels.com, the respite costs for intermittent help would vary between $15 – $40 per hour and about $120 – $200 per day for live–in care.
• Respite care costs for care facility–based:
The care facility includes several nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and retirement communities that have respite facilities for a short stay, for a few hours, to half day, full day, or even overnight stay. The cost for such institutionalized respite community centers includes $100 – $250 per day, but it again depends on what level of care you are expecting.
Respite care costs for community-based facility:
This includes adult daycare services that are provided through licensed personnel. This kind of facility is best suited for those caregivers who would want the daytime free for completing their work, for relaxation, or to fulfill doctor’s appointments. The average cost for a community-based facility ranges from $25 – $150 per day.