Caregiving can be a challenging role for anyone. It’s often filled with unexpected challenges, including physical and emotional turmoil leading to poor health.
When you become a primary caregiver to an aging loved one, their well-being becomes top priority. However, your health and vitality are just as important. Taking time for respite care will help you stay healthy and strengthen your abilities as a caregiver.
If you’re looking for respite care services and programs to give yourself a break, consider these options.
Community-Based Respite Care
Many local senior housing communities offer short-term respite stays which can range from a few days to a few weeks. Short-term stays are great for families who need a break from caregiving duties, are going on vacation, or those who are unable to provide the care needed.
Respite stays can range from $150 to $300 per day and include help with activities of daily living, nutritious meals, and medication management. For aging loved ones, a respite stay can feel like a luxury vacation surrounded by a welcoming community of peers. Respite stays offer family members peace of mind knowing they can take time to focus on their own health and well-being.
In-Home Respite Care
In-home respite care is a great resource for aging loved ones who have decided to age in place at home. Home care agencies can offer trained caregivers for a few hours a day or longer depending on the person’s needs.
Personal in-home care can range from $25 to $45 per hour and offers companionship, transportation, meal preparation, and help with activities of daily living. Because everyone deserves a break, hiring in-home care is a great way to focus on other responsibilities while making sure your loved one is receiving the care they need.
Several organizations offer respite grants for families who need help with caregiving. The National Family Caregiver Support Program, Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, and the Alzheimer’s Association help families by helping fund in-home or community-based respite care.
Grants often range from $500-$1,000 and may cover up to a week of care. Many senior housing communities will work with you to make sure respite care fits within the grant budget.
“Several organizations offer respite grants for families who need help with caregiving.”
You may qualify for help and support from government-funded respite care programs such as:
- Eldercare.gov – This is run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging. It offers a one-stop-shop for resources and assistance in your local region, including federal and state or local programs which might apply to your situation.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) – If you’re caring for a veteran, VA provisions allow 30 days of free respite care per year for qualifying veterans and caregivers. Care can be provided in-home, community-based, or through VA nursing homes.
- Legacy Corps – This program is part of AmeriCorps and offers services for military families and caregivers. Legacy Corp volunteers will provide companionship and in-home care up to 10 hours per week to give the family caregiver a much-needed break. Learn more through the VA Benefits Administration office in your area or through your region’s Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC).
Online Support Groups
If you continue caring for a loved one and need support, online support groups are a great way to connect with others going through the same challenges. Being involved in Facebook groups or forums can help you feel supported and part of a community.