The selfless act of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or any other debilitating illness can be very rewarding, but it can also be stressful as well. Fortunately, you don’t have to bear all the responsibility alone. Respite care service providers give you the opportunity to take the critical breaks you need when you’re feeling tense or overwhelmed. If you require a day to relax or run errands, respite care is the answer.
What is Respite Care?
Respite caregiver options include family and friends, non-profit or faith-based organizations and trained professionals. When you utilize the services of an established provider, commitments can be short term or extended, so you can take as much time as you need to re-energize and catch up on chores and other important matters. Professional caregivers are trained to provide the exact level of support your loved one needs.
In-home services present a wide variety of options including:
- Companionship services with supervised activities
- Maid services that usually include shopping, meal preparation and laundry service
- Skilled care that provides assistance with medical services and medication
- Personal care support for tasks such as bathing, exercising and dressing
The Benefits of Respite Care
Here are some of the many ways that respite care can benefit those who look after a loved one:
- Relaxation: The demands on a caregiver are extraordinary, and it is important to take the time to relax and unwind regularly. Removing yourself from the daily demands of being a caregiver will help you maintain a positive outlook and good health.
- Improved Level of Care: Spending quality time away from your loved one will allow you to reassess the relationship and make adjustments that will improve the experience for both of you.
- Sense of Purpose: Even a break of a few hours can help revitalize over-taxed coping mechanisms and provide a renewed sense of purpose.
- Emergency Situations: There may be occasions where you must leave your dependent loved one to attend to an emergency. Respite care professionals are available on short notice to provide the care you require.
Respite Care Financial Assistance
Respite care is considered critical, so there are several ways to obtain financial assistance to help pay for the services
- Medicaid: Under Medicare Part A and C, patients are allowed up to five consecutive days of respite care in a Medicare-approved inpatient facility. Medicare will pay up to 95 percent of the cost of respite care.
- Social Security: Those with disability benefits may qualify for home health assistance.
- Veterans Administration: The VA offers inpatient respite care coverage for up to 30 days per year for eligible veterans.
- State Agencies: Many states provide respite care benefits for qualified recipients. Since benefits and eligibility vary, it is important to check with your state’s Department of Health Services.
Being a caregiver can take it’s toll. The stress of caring for a loved one may build up over time so taking much needed time away is essential in order to be at your best. Respite care is a great option because you can count on professionals to take care of all your loved one’s needs while you get a well deserved and needed break.
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