07 Aug Respite Care at Home: A Typical Day
Caring for an aging or ill family member can be very rewarding but also physically and emotionally exhausting. Everyone needs a break from time to time. It’s easy to forget your own needs when caring for someone else, especially if you’re juggling other responsibilities.
Home respite services provide temporary relief, enabling you to take a much-needed break from the demands of caring for a sick, aging, or disabled family member.
Ahead we’ll look at the daily routine of respite care. First, learn more about what respite care is and the services respite care workers provide.
What Is Respite Care?
Respite care provides part-time or temporary relief from caregiving duties. It gives you a break from your typical routine so you can recharge and take care of your needs.
Respite care workers are trained to provide personalized care tailored to the needs of your loved one. They can stay for part of the day, the evening, or overnight, occasionally or on a regular basis, depending on your family’s needs.
Why Use Respite Care Services?
There are more than 50 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S. today. If you’re a caregiver, you know firsthand the physical, emotional, and mental demands of caring for another person.
One in three family caregivers surveyed say their role as a caregiver is highly stressful emotionally, while one in five report that caregiving is physically strenuous. Unfortunately, caregiver burnout is all too common.
As a primary caregiver, you likely have very little downtime. You may find it challenging to run basic errands, much less find time to visit a doctor, go shopping, or even get a haircut.
Respite services can help you find more balance. Having someone to look after your loved one—even just one or two afternoons a week—can make a big difference.
Respite services not only benefit you as the caregiver, but also your loved one. A fresh face and change of routine can be stimulating, especially for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Respite services can also be incredibly helpful in emergency situations when you’re not able to perform your normal duties.
What Services Does Respite Care Provide?
Respite caregivers provide undivided attention to those in their care. Most respite care is delivered at home. Services vary based on the agency and can include:
Personal Care – Also called the activities of daily living, or ADLs, these are the essential tasks of daily life, such as eating, bathing, dressing, and going to the toilet.
Companion Services – Respite caregivers can escort your loved one to social, cultural, and religious events, arrange visits with family members and friends, and help with in-home entertaining (such as throwing a birthday party).
Meal Preparation – Meal planning and preparation can be difficult for seniors without proper support. Respite caregivers can help with grocery shopping and with planning and preparing meals. They can also ensure that seniors with special dietary needs get proper nutrition and avoid problematic foods.
Transportation – Some respite care workers can help with errands or transportation to and from doctor appointments, family visits, and social activities.
Household Tasks – Most respite care workers provide help with basic household tasks like laundry, grocery shopping, and light cleaning.
Basic Medical Care – Some respite care workers provide basic medical services like wound care and medication assistance. If your loved one needs a more advanced level of care, ask to be connected with a skilled nurse or aide with the appropriate medical training.
Daily Routine of Respite Care
Routine is important for many seniors, especially those who have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.
A consistent daily schedule can help seniors and elderly adults feel safe, secure, and more in control. A daily routine also makes it easier to practice healthy habits like eating nutritious meals, exercising, and socializing.
Depending on the level of care your loved one needs, a respite caregiver’s daily schedule may start first thing in the morning or in the afternoon.
Here’s how a typical day might look:
Morning is often the most active part of the day for seniors. After a good night’s sleep, it’s when they tend to have the most energy.
A typical morning schedule will start out with a healthy breakfast, taken with any morning medications.
After breakfast it’s time for basic hygiene like hair brushing, teeth brushing or denture care, and possibly a bath or shower. Seniors should bathe at least twice a week to minimize the risk of infection and keep skin hydrated and healthy.
Morning activities vary depending on a person’s preferences but may include enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, reading the newspaper, listening to music, taking a walk, morning doctor appointments, watching a favorite television show, or simply chatting.
Afternoons also tend to be active for seniors, but it all depends on their preferences and energy level.
A healthy lunch may be followed by doctor appointments or other important chores or tasks around the house. Afternoons are a popular time for socializing or a fun outing. An in-home caregiver will typically provide transportation to and from these activities and serve as a companion.
In-home activities may include crafts projects, gardening, or watching a favorite show or movie. It’s important for seniors to exercise not just their bodies, but also their minds. “Thinking” games and activities like crossword puzzles and sudoku can help seniors stay sharp.
Resting is also important for older people, regardless of how active they are during the day. A nap is ideal, but even resting quietly on the couch or while listening to music can be restorative.
In the evening, seniors and caregivers finish up their day with a light meal followed by dessert and an enjoyable and relaxing activity, such as a puzzle, movie, or warm bath.
At the end of the evening, the caregiver will help your loved one get ready for bed. This typically involves changing into bedclothes, brushing teeth, and making sure they have taken any nighttime medications.
Is Respite Care Right for You?
Allowing someone else to step in and care for your loved one can be nerve-wracking.
You may feel that your loved one’s daily care routine is too complicated to explain to another person. Or you may worry that no one can provide the same level of care as you. You might feel guilty about “abandoning” your relative, especially if you’re caring for a parent.
These are all common concerns. You’re not alone in feeling this way. But it’s important to remember that respite care is an integral part of the caregiving process. No one can do it all.
Getting support allows you to take care of your own physical and mental health. This is vital to managing your role as a caregiver. It’s not selfish to need time to yourself. When you’re overwhelmed by the daily grind of caregiving, your patience and compassion can wear thin. This makes it harder to connect with your loved one and can leave you feeling unfulfilled.
If you have been neglecting your own health-related needs, if your social life is suffering, or if you find yourself resorting to self-soothing habits to cope with the stresses of caregiving, it’s time for support.
Care To Stay Home Is Here to Help
Most family caregivers take on the responsibilities of caring for a loved one without any formal training. An in-home respite care worker can provide a fresh pair of eyes—and tips on how to handle challenging caregiving tasks.
Care To Stay Home offers professional in-home respite care services delivered by compassionate caregivers. Our services provide vital relief and make it possible for your loved one to receive the care they deserve in the comfort of home.
We also offer a range of specialty services, including Alzheimer’s and dementia care, post-surgical care, and stroke recovery services. Get in touch for a free assessment and for more information about our home care services at 509-775-6789.