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Respite Care a Great Value to Family Caregivers

While being a family caregiver can be a rewarding experience, it can add additional stress an already busy schedule.

Published: Jul 14, 2014

Respite Care a Great Value to Family Caregivers

Many families find satisfaction in caregiving for an elderly loved one, whether a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, or family friend. The experience of caregiving often strengthens the bond between adult child and parent. In many ways it's a rewarding opportunity to give back.

However, caregiving for a senior can add stress to an already busy schedule of work, taking care of your own family and other obligations.

Assuring the safety and well-being of a loved one can require substantial amounts of time, even consuming your thoughts and attention when you're not with your loved one--for instance, when you're at work.

Without help from other family members, or a professional senior care provider, senior caregiving can drain you physically, mentally and emotionally. As a result it can put a caregiver's own health and well-being at risk.

Respite care--temporary senior caregiving provided by a professional, relative or friend--provides a senior's primary caregiver a valuable release and opportunity to rest and reenergize, as well as take care of other pressing concerns on the to-do list.

Respite care can be scheduled occasionally or on a regular basis, for just a few hours at a time, to give you a chance to rest, go out with friends, take care of shopping or get some exercise. Respite care also can be scheduled for longer periods of time, for instance, so you can get away for vacation.

Respite Care Also Benefits Care Recipients

Respite care not only benefits the senior caregiver. Seniors appreciate respite care as it provides them an opportunity to socialize and converse with someone other than their primary caregiver. The variety of having someone else come into the home adds to their enjoyment of life.

And when you schedule respite care to give yourself valuable downtime, you'll likely be more enjoyable company for your loved one, as you will be more rested and relaxed.

Without respite care, you're more likely to become resentful, depressed and more susceptible to infection and illness--all of which you can pass on to the loved one you are caring for.

So, you'll do yourself and your loved one a favor by making good use of respite care.

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