Family caregivers today face a slew of serious health risks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35% of caregivers have difficulty finding time for themselves, 29% experience stress and 29% find it hard to balance caregiving with other responsibilities. Even worse, 53% of caregivers reported that their health had deteriorated to the point where it affected their ability to provide care.
Caring for an aging loved one is one of the most selfless things anyone can do, but not taking time out for rejuvenation can be detrimental to your own well being. "But what would happen to my loved one if I'm not there to care for her?" you may ask. Luckily, you can choose from several reliable alternatives. These respite care solutions will ensure your loved one is getting the care needed while you enjoy that well-deserved break.
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1. Ask family or friends for help
This is a great option if you are running low on cash. You'll be able to rest easy, knowing that your loved one is in the capable hands of someone you trust. Your loved one will feel less disorientated as he or she will have the comfort of getting care from by someone they know and love.
Even though your caregiver family member or friend may refuse compensation, you could provide meals or gas money as a token of appreciation.
2. Personal care assistants
If you can't find a trusted family member or friend, hiring a personal care assistant is another great option. Costs vary and may come to $200 per day, depending on the type of care needed.
These assistants usually provide grooming and housekeeping services and dispense prescribed medications to your loved one during your time away.
Support from organized volunteer groups can be another great way to ensure that your loved one is taken care of while you are away. You won't have to spend any money on caregiving, and it also creates a wonderful sense of community.
Also called organized co-ops, these groups can offer an ideal way to rotate caregiving duties among participating neighbors in your community. This way, you can return the favor when a caregiver neighbor needs respite care.
4. Veterans Administration support
There's good news if you're a veteran caring for your spouse, as you may be eligible to take advantage of one of the programs offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Some of these programs include free home-based care, adult day healthcare centers and respite care.
Qualified families may receive approximately 1 month of respite care annually. Your loved one may receive care at a residential care facility or a VA community living center.
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5. Companion care
Another respite care option involves using the services of an elder care companion. Elder care companions provide a variety of assistance with household chores such as light housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, grocery shopping and other errands. Elder companions can be volunteers or professionals via an in-home care agency. You might also consider contacting Meals on Wheels. The organization's outreach program matches seniors with volunteers.
Read more about caregiving issues at Caring.com, a Bankrate company.