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American Stroke Foundation

Caregiver ResourcesGive Yourself a Break! An Overview of Caregiver Respite Services

Give Yourself a Break! An Overview of Caregiver Respite Services

Under non-pandemic circumstances, it can be difficult for some caregivers to imagine taking breaks away from their loved one. The addition of a global pandemic has likely made time away seem even more impossible than before for caregivers! The fact remains, however, that it is vital caregivers find time for themselves in order to maintain their own health. This allows them to continue taking care of others.

Introduction (0:00 - 0:21)

This video is an overview of information about caregiver respite. It will cover several aspects of respite care, including its importance, types, options for respite care providers, and things to consider when deciding what is best for you and your loved one.

The Impact of Caregiving (0:22 - 0:49)

It is undeniable that being a caregiver is hard work and comes with a unique set of challenges that are often unanticipated prior to taking on this role, all of which can lead to caregiver burnout and serious health issues.

What Is Respite Care? (0:50 - 1:14)

Respite is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as an interval of rest or relief. Respite takes many forms, whether in or out of your home and can range from a few hours each week to several days at a time.

Self-care Isn’t Selfish (1:15 - 1:33)

Respite care must be part of the equation if caregivers want to continue to also provide the best care for their loved ones!

An Overview of Types of Respite Care Services (1:16 - 3:43)

There are many different options for respite care depending on you and your care recipient’s needs. Respite care can take place in or out of the home and can be provided formally, by a medical professional for example, or informally, such as a family member or friend helping out.

Considerations for In-Home Respite Services (3:44 - 4:37)

If you are considering utilizing in-home respite care, here are some things you may want to consider:

  • The comfort level of both the caregiver and the care recipient
  • Equipment needed & available for use
  • Can often be a more cost effective solution
  • Transportation of the care recipient is not an issue

Considerations for Out-of-Home Respite Services (4:38 - 5:20)

If you are considering utilizing out-of-home respite care, here are some things you may want to consider:

  • Opportunity for care recipient to experience:
    • new surroundings
    • different expectations
    • peer relationships
    • cognitive and emotional stimulation
  • Allows the caregiver to enjoy time in their own home
  • Transportation and equipment needs will need to be taken into account
  • New environments can be hard to adjust to

Getting Family Involved (5:21 - 6:34)

The reality of caregiving can be a tough process for families to share. Even the healthiest families can be severely stressed by ongoing care, and the division of labor is frequently lopsided. This section includes several strategies you can use to encourage support and participation.

Hiring Respite Services (6:35 - 8:40)

Taking the time to find the right fit for you and your loved one’s needs is essential to your peace of mind as well as your loved one’s health and safety. Whether you choose to go with an independent provider or through an agency, this next section discusses some tips to help with the decision process.

Getting The Most Out Of Respite Services (8:41 - 9:48)

All of this may sound like a lot of work, but please remember that in order for you to provide the best care possible for your loved one, you need to ensure you have a way to take a break and relieve some of the stress of caregiving. This section contains several tips to help you get the most out of respite services.

Potential Resources & References (9:49 - 10:22)

Here are some potential resources you can use to help locate respite care services near you. In addition to those pictured, healthcare providers may have some helpful recommendations, especially if they’ve been in the area for a long time.

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