Caring for a loved one with memory loss or mobility issues is an exhausting lifestyle. Caretakers are pretty much homebound because their loved ones can't be left alone. You can't leave them with just anyone. Sometimes family members or friends help out, but they can offer help regularly. What you need is respite care.
What Is Respite Care?
Respite care is a term for the temporary care of someone with health or mobility issues to give the caretaker time to themselves. Respite care can be just a few hours or a couple of weeks, but it is a set period of time.
Respite care includes non-medical duties like fixing meals, bathing and dressing the individual, ensuring they take their medications, helping them to the bathroom, driving them to doctor's appointments or therapy, housework and companionship.
Who Pays for Respite Care?
Most respite care services are paid for by long-term care insurance or workman's compensation. Some veterans can have come respite care paid for through the aid and attendance benefit available through the Veteran's Administration. Medicare and Medicaid don't pay for this type of service.
How Do You Select a Respite Care Provider?
Picking a respite care provider must be done with careful consideration. There are several things to check before hiring.
The first thing to look at is the type of care you need. Respite care includes adult daycare centers, a temporary stay at residential facilities, and in-home care. Adult daycare centers are great for some who are functioning but need assistance with daily activities like meals. The caretaker can drop them off in the morning and pick them up at the end of the day. Most centers offer things like games and memory therapy.
A stay at a residential facility can be the right decision for those who need round-the-clock care overnight or for several days. This would be the right option for caretakers going on vacation or an out-of-town business trip.
In-home care is the most used option for respite services. Using respite services at home allows the person to remain in a comfortable environment rather than a facility while giving their caretaker a much-needed break.
Also, you need to decide if you need ongoing help or just help every once and a while. Once you get an idea of what you need, search for a respite care service that specializes in those areas.
What to Ask Respite Care Agencies?
There are several things you need to find out before hiring a respite care agency. First, find out if the company is a recommended provider of senior citizen advocacy groups. For instance, if you are seeking respite services in Pensacola, Fl, the Council on Aging of Northwest Florida, American Eldercare and Sunshine Tango all have TLC Caregivers as a provider for senior citizens in Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties.
You can also ask the agency for referrals from some of their clients. They should be able and willing to provide you with several names and phone numbers.
Another question to ask respite care companies seeking your business is if the same person would be assigned to your case to fulfill all your assigned times or if there would at least be the same people coming every week. You also need to ask if you can first meet and interview those who will come to your home in advance of them actually providing service.
Besides looking at their skills and education, you should also consider how the respite worker's personality fits with your family, especially your loved one needing help. It will be a much more pleasant experience if you get along well with the person coming into your home.
Most respite care companies will have online reviews and those can be helpful in selecting a company. It pays to read a lot of them from different companies to get a feel for what different agencies are like.
Those who need help in caring for a loved one, or just need some time away, should consider respite care to meet their needs. Not only will you get a skilled person to help care for your loved one, but sometimes, respite care turns into more than just offering a service. It is almost like they are part of the family.
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