As a family caregiver, there will be times when the stress of life becomes overwhelming. You are working a full-time job, taking care of your own children, and then you are also the caretaker of an aging parent or relative. You might even feel like you are being pulled in a thousand different directions, but you aren’t alone.
According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, more than 34.2 million Americans provide or have provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last year. The organization also states that most family caregivers provide more than 24.4 hours a week giving care and 1 in 4 spends 41 hours or more each week providing care.
What is respite care? Respite care can provide short-term relief for primary caregivers. This can be done in different time increments varying from an afternoon to a few days to a few weeks. Respite care can be provided at home, in a healt care facility, or an adult day care.
Respite care is typically not covered by insurance. It is charged by the number of hours, days, or weeks needed. Medicare will cover most of the cost of up to 5 days in a row of respite care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility for a person receiving hospice care. Medicaid also may offer assistance.
It can be a hard thing to decide on and ultimately you must choose what is best for your family. There are many resources out there and many options.
Asking for help can be difficult, and the difficulty can be compounded when choosing a substitute care provider for your loved one. Determine if respite care is necessary by asking yourself the following:
Is there someone you trust to take care of your loved one in case of an emergency?
Have you missed a personal doctor’s visit or neglected to fulfill your own health-related needs?
Do you find yourself making excuses to miss previously important social events?
If these questions were tough to answer, it may be time to consider a break!