What Is In-Home Respite Care?


Looking after an aging parent, romantic partner, or another family member can be very taxing. Aside from being mentally and physically demanding, caregiving is often time-consuming. This makes it hard for caregivers to find time for themselves.

The importance of taking breaks and caring for yourself can’t be understated. And yet, it can be tough to find relief when you’re responsible for an elderly individual with around-the-clock needs. With this in mind, Alliance Homecare is proud to offer quality respite care services in the New York City metro area. The benefits of home care not only extend to the aging adult, but also to the caregiver.

What is in home respite care, how does it work, and what types of services are involved? Keep reading to find the answers to these questions and more about respite services.

In-Home Respite Care: What to Know

Respite care is short-term relief for caregivers who are responsible for looking after an aging adult. While it’s typically scheduled temporarily, you can also arrange for recurring relief.

Most often, the elderly person has physical limitations, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, a chronic illness, or other debilitating conditions that makes it hard for them to care for themselves and complete day-to-day activities. In-home respite care allows the individual to remain in a comfortable, familiar environment while their primary caregiver takes a break.

A report in the journal Annual Review of Psychology explains that the continuous demands placed on unpaid caregivers of aging adults (usually family members) can impact their well-being. Without relief, they can suffer from psychological distress, deteriorating physical health, and relationship issues with other loved ones. According to a report by the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), about a quarter of those providing care say caregiving has negatively affected their personal health

Unlike permanent or ongoing home care and nursing homes, respite care allows caregivers to continue providing care by giving them much-needed time to themselves and opportunities to tend to their other responsibilities and relationships. Caregiving is primarily about the health of the elderly individual. On the other hand, respite care benefits the health of the primary caregiver while still meeting the needs of the aging adult.

Benefits of Respite Care

There’s no denying the importance of work-life balance. And while many people think this only pertains to taking time off from paid jobs, it’s important to remember that caregiving is real work. It takes time out of your day, it can be physically and mentally draining, and someone else is counting on you. Whether it’s for a week, a couple of days, or just a few hours, respite care helps caregivers maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Respite care allows caregivers to:

  • Spend time with their romantic partners, friends, children, and other family members
  • Have some alone time
  • Go grocery shopping and take the time to prepare healthy meals
  • Go to personal healthcare appointments
  • Get the rest they need, whether it’s getting a full night’s sleep or going on vacation
  • Keep up with their career, children’s schedules, and other commitments
  • Tend to their self-care needs, such as exercising or getting a haircut
  • Go back to being a family member to your loved one in need instead of a full-time caregiver

Additionally, respite care can help you avoid exhaustion and burnout. It can also prevent you from becoming socially isolated outside of the relationship you have with your elderly family member.

The benefits of respite care go beyond the well-being of caregivers. It can be a positive experience for the person you’re looking after as well. Some seniors resist change and may initially be reluctant to receive care from someone they don’t know. But the reality is that being around only one person for months can strain the relationship and lead to monotony and in extreme situations, resentment. Respite care provides aging adults with someone else to talk to, stimulation, and a refreshing routine change.

In-Home Respite Care vs. Day Care Facilities and Nursing Home

There are various ways to get respite care. It can occur at a skilled adult day care center, a nursing facility, or right at home. Adult day care centers give seniors a chance to socialize and the assistance they need to complete their ADLs (activities of daily living) while allowing them to sleep at home. This can protect against the unwanted impact of social isolation on seniors.

Nursing homes are secure residential facilities providing around-the-clock care for aging adults. Many offer short-term stays for post-surgical recovery, trial periods, and respite care. While adult day care centers and nursing homes work for lots of families, many prefer in-home respite care in New York

When looking into at home care vs nursing home care, the AARP reports that almost 80% of aging adults would like to stay in their homes for as long as possible—even if it means they’ll need in-home assistance. And when it comes to short-term respite care, it often makes the most sense to keep seniors at home.

For one, you can avoid the strain of transitioning them to an unfamiliar environment. At-home care also gives seniors more privacy, freedom, independence, and a sense of dignity. It’s typically more affordable than nursing homes too. Though some resist going to nursing homes and day care facilities, many are willing to compromise with home care.

What to Expect from In-Home Respite Care

So, how does in-home respite care work? When you partner with a licensed home care services agency (LHCSA) like Alliance Homecare, the staff will work with you on creating a personalized care plan. It will outline any appointments, outings, and special activities while considering the individual’s healthcare needs and preferences. While the home health aide tends to your loved one, you’re free to step away and feel confident that your loved one is receiving proper care.

Ultimately, the care plan will allow your loved one to maintain their normal routine and potentially have some fun too. Most importantly, they can stay in the comfort of their own home without interrupting their care schedule.

In-home respite care services can include:

  • Personal hygiene support, such as bathing, grooming, dressing
  • Transportation and company for attending appointments and other outings
  • Running errands
  • Ensuring the home is safe and secure
  • Cleaning, laundry, and other light housekeeping
  • Changing light bulbs, taking out the trash, and other home maintenance tasks
  • Grocery shopping, meal prep, cooking, and feeding
  • Medication reminders and prescription management
  • Catheter care and help using the bathroom
  • Help with digital communications, like phone calls, email, and texting
  • Assistance with infusions or IV therapies
  • Post-surgical recovery and catastrophic injury care
  • Wound care management
  • Mechanical ventilation management
  • Cardiac and pulmonary care
  • Hospice care
  • Palliative end-of-life care
  • Companionship

Look out for signs a senior needs help at home to know what extent of care they need. Whether your loved one requires in home nurse care, support with ADLs, or both, their needs can be met with in-home respite care. As we mentioned, respite services can span anywhere from a few hours to a few days to a few weeks or more. And care is offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week as needed.

Everyone Needs a Break

While caregiving can be rewarding and enjoyable, it can also be overwhelming. Most people agree that everyone needs a break, but sometimes it can be hard to find someone you trust to take over your caregiving responsibilities.

With in-home respite care from Alliance, your loved one will be in good hands. Our skilled and knowledgeable staff embraces what we call The Grandma Rule℠. This guiding philosophy ensures each of our patients is treated like family with the love, compassion, and respect they deserve. Our trustworthy team of professional caregivers can give you the break you need and the peace of mind knowing your aging family member is taken care of and safe.

Flexible Respite Care in the New York City Metro Area

At Alliance Homecare in New York, we’re pleased to offer respite care for families who need relief from their caregiving responsibilities. Whether you need to leave for a few hours, have an upcoming vacation, or want to arrange for regular support, we’re here to take the pressure off.

Want to schedule respite care in the New York metro area or learn more about the process? Contact us today. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and would love to hear from you.

 

External sources:

  1. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/caregiving/respite-care.htm
  2. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-respite-care
  3. https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/life-balance/info-2017/respite-care-plan.html
  4. https://www.aarp.org/ppi/info-2020/caregiving-in-the-united-states.html
  5. https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/care-options/respite-care
  6. https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/video/2019/jan/personas-project-family-caregiver
  7. https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/ppi/2020/05/full-report-caregiving-in-the-united-states.doi.10.26419-2Fppi.00103.001.pdf
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7291827/
  9. https://www.aarp.org/retirement/planning-for-retirement/info-2018/retirees-age-in-place-aarp-study.html

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