Need a Break? Consider Respite Care in Jackson

Jan 16, 2019
Senior man sitting and talking with his caregiver

Being a caregiver to an ill or incapacitated loved one may sound like a mission of mercy at first, something you want to do simply because you care so much. After several months, however, even the hardiest and most dedicated caregiver can find themselves in need of a break. They could even begin feeling depressed. Experts know this is normal, but most people underestimate the commitment of time, energy and emotions required to be a caregiver. Experts also know that the best way to stave off the negative effects of being a caregiver is to take time off.

Avoid Caregiver Burnout

Think about it this way: When you get on a plane and the flight attendant goes through the required talk about emergencies in flight, one of the things you hear is, “Put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others.” The premise is the same with caregiving: You have to put yourself first so you can continue to provide the level of care your loved one needs.

And you’re not alone. An AARP Public Policy Institute reports states: “About 40 million family caregivers provided 37 billion hours of care for parents, spouses, partners and other adult loved ones worth an estimated $470 billion in 2013, up from $450 billion in 2009. How much is $470 billion? It’s nearly as much as the total sales of the world’s largest companies, including Walmart ($485.9 billion for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2017).” That’s an entire industry of unpaid workers spending their days and nights caring for someone, and often not looking out for themselves.

But there’s help — respite care!

What is Respite Care?

Respite care is not a one-size-fits-all solution. There’s in-home companion or personal respite care; full-time, short- or long-term respite care in a facility; daytime care at an age-appropriate facility; and respite care options for veterans.  Even before you start to feel the impact of being caregiver, it’s a good idea to understand what options are available and of those, which are best for your loved one.

For example, you may be able to get relief from another family member who can take a shift once a week as a companion or personal caregiver in the home. That will allow you several hours to get your hair cut or styled, see a movie, spend time with your friends, shop, or just relax. Ideally, you’ll be able to set up a regular schedule so you can make appointments and have a free day to look forward to during the week.

Another great option is day care at a residential or public facility. Caregivers with full- or part-time jobs will find this option especially attractive. Individuals who are able to communicate well and participate in activities are best suited for day care, while those with conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s may not benefit.

When a caregiver needs an extended period of time away for a vacation or work-related trip, short-term respite care at a licensed facility is often the best — and easiest — option for everyone. This is particularly beneficial when a loved one needs hands-on assistance with daily-living activities like dressing, walking and taking medications. It’s also a great way to try a facility in advance if you’re considering long-term care. In-house respite care also benefits the caregiver, who can take time off knowing their loved one is being cared for by professionals and receiving all the attention necessary to remain safe and happy.

No matter your needs, creating a plan for the future is important for both caregiver and loved one. The Aging & Adult Services Agency at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services offers a variety of help on its website, including a link to the “CDC Caregiving Care Plan” form to help you prepare for both scheduled and emergency respite care needs.

Who Pays for Respite Care?

Many caregivers put off respite care because of the fear that it costs too much, that it isn’t covered under insurance or Medicare. Because of these perfectly legitimate concerns, family and caregivers should investigate the best options available for their loved ones according to their specific needs, conditions, location and ability to pay. There are several agencies and organizations that offer help and advice, including:

The National Respite Network and Resource Center

Paying for Senior Care

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Caregivers Action Network

Easter Seals

The professionals at Ganton’s Countryside are also available to answer questions and help you choose the right respite care for your loved one. Find out what Countryside has to offer in our blog, “Respite Care in Jackson Michigan.”

For information about Countryside, call Margaret Nagel at (517) 206-5000 or download our brochure to learn about our care levels, cost, and amenities.

assisted living near me

Subscribe to our blog.

Recent Posts

A Checklist for Independent Living: Is it right for me?

All the changes in senior independent living have made it a much more desirable option for older adults who want to shed the responsibilities of living at home and really make retirement the best it can be. But it’s not for everyone. Before you decide, however, use...

Independent Living Value vs Cost

In general, how much something costs is often considered its value, but when it comes to independent living value, it’s essential to peel back the layers and look deeper into what value really means. When deciding where to live in retirement, at home or in independent...

5 Things to Look for in an Independent Living Community

An independent living community can be the perfect retirement solution when you choose the right senior living community. That’s why it is so important to thoroughly vet your options before making your choice. One of the best ways to do that is by touring independent...

Four Wonderful Things to Expect in an Independent Living Community

Retirement is the time of life to really make every day one to remember, whether it’s traveling, revisiting an old hobby, relaxing at home with friends and family, writing a book, or taking classes just to learn something new. All those things you never had time for...

What Is Independent Living?

Retirement brings with it many decisions, not the least of which is where to live. For many older adults, independent living is the perfect choice because it has all the benefits of a home without all the costs and hassles of home ownership. But others may not...

Do You Have Caregiver Burnout? 6 Ways Assisted Living Helps

Being a caregiver can be a fulfilling way to honor an aging parent or loved one, but it can also become an overwhelming job as time goes on. The daily tasks, worries, and responsibilities of caregiving can ultimately result in caregiver burnout, a real and very...

Share This