Using respite care
Caregiving is demanding — and it's normal to need a break. Seeking help does not make you a failure. Remember that respite services benefit the person with dementia as well as the caregiver.
Respite care can help you as a caregiver by providing a new environment or time to relax. It's a good way for you to take time for yourself.
Care can provide:
- A chance to spend time with other friends and family, or to just relax
- Time to take care of errands such as shopping, exercising, getting a haircut or going to the doctor
- Comfort and peace of mind knowing that the person with dementia is spending time with another caring individual
- Interact with others having similar experiences
- Spend time in a safe, supportive environment
- Participate in activities designed to match personal abilities and needs
Respite care can be provided at home — by a friend, other family member, volunteer or paid service — or in a care setting, such as Adult Day Care or residential facility.
In-home care services offer a range of options including:
- Companion services to the individual with companionship and supervised activities
- Personal care or home health aide services to provide assistance with bathing, dressing, toileting and exercising
- Homemaker or maid services to help with laundry, shopping and preparing meals
- Skilled care services to help with medication and other medical services
Residential facilities may offer the option for a stay overnight, for a few days or a few weeks. Overnight care allows caregivers to take an extended break or vacation while the person with dementia stays in a supervised, safe environment. The cost for these services varies and is usually not covered by insurance or Medicare.
TIP: Sometimes, a person with dementia may have difficulty adjusting to a new environment. Regular stays can allow the overall adjustment to become easier
Guilt: You may believe that you should be able to "do it all.” Seeking help does not make you a failure. It's important to remember that respite services benefit the person with dementia as well as the caregiver.