Most adults who are 65 or older will probably need at least three years of long-term care at some point in their lives. About 80 percent of that care is typically provided in the home, often by a friend or family member rather than by a paid caregiver. (Caregivers Library)
This may mean taking a family member into your home, or spending long days at your family member’s home to provide help with tasks of daily living such as preparing meals, bathing, and managing medications.
The day after day nature of proving this type of care can leave any caregiver feeling overwhelmed and mentally or physically exhausted. Respite care can provide relief from the day to day or hour to hour demands of caring for someone to give you a chance to take a break or catch up on part of your own life.
Respite care is short-term help for caregivers to give them a chance to rest, restore themselves, and catch up on things they need to get done. Respite care provides someone to share the responsibility for caregiving and allows the caregiver to have needed support.
There are two basic types of respite care:
• In-home respite care – This can be provided by anyone you trust to come into the home and take care of your family member while you are away. It may be other family members, friends, church members, or other volunteers, or may be someone you pay to help.
In-home care may be limited to basic personal care such as fixing meals and help getting to the bathroom or may involve more skilled help with medications or other health issues.
• Out-of-home respite care – Adult day programs can provide social opportunities for your family member and a break for you. If more care is needed or you need more time away, there are facilities that offer short-term care where your relative can stay for several days or weeks and receive personal care for tasks of everyday living as well as medical assistance if needed.
If you are providing home care for a family member who is in hospice, Medicare may pay for inpatient respite care at a Medicare-approved facility to give you a break.