When you are the Caregiver of a person with Alzheimer’s you become a prisoner in your own world. Although caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever have most say they wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Being able to care for your loved one through to the end of life is an unbelievable gift. However, without respite care, a temporary break from the demands of care giving, you may be more susceptible to the effects of Caregiver stress, such as depression, exhaustion, guilt and other health problems.
When seeking respite care for a loved one do your research in advance so that when the crisis is upon you the information is handy. Crisis time makes it hard to think clearly and make informed decisions.
Here are some of the options available for respite care, According to Carrie Hill PHd Updated October 31, 2008
- Adult Day Care
provides your loved one with supervision and social interaction outside of the home for anywhere from a few hours to a whole day.
- In-Home Respite Care
provides you with a break while providing supervision and social interaction to your loved one. In home care is broken down further into subcategories: Non-hands on care (companion) and hands on care. It’s imperative that you are sure that the company you work with is licensed appropriately for your specific needs.
- Home Health Care
This is useful when your loved one requires medical care such as injections, frequent blood pressure checks, or other procedures that you can't provide yourself, and that in-home respite providers aren't licensed to perform.
- Government Programs
Several government programs may be available to you. For example, Meals-On-Wheels provides home-delivered meals to older adults in need, and the National Family Caregiver Support Program provides information, training, case management, respite care, and other supportive services to caregivers.
Remember when you take a break from being a Caregiver it is normal to feel guilty. However, keep in mind that after a short break for yourself you will be a much better Caregiver for your loved ones. Ask for help and you will be surprised how many people are there to offer help.