Respite Care Providers Care For The Family Caregiver
In-home senior care providers like Comfort Keepers® also serve as respite care providers when they step in periodically to care for seniors so their family caregivers can rest up and take care of life's other responsibilities.
Today, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA), about 44 million Americans, representing about 21 percent of all U.S. households, serve as family caregivers. FCA cautions that family caregivers put their own health and well-being at risk when they don't get support from respite care providers and other sources of help.
Respite care providers can include professional caregiving agencies such as Comfort Keepers, as well as friends and relatives, churches and other volunteer organizations, adult day care centers, senior centers and local Area Agencies on Aging.
While caring for an elderly parent can be personally rewarding, it can also take a personal toll on mental and physical health without planned breaks from the daily focus of assuring the safety and well-being of a loved one. When you place the majority of your time and attention on an aging parent, it's easy to neglect other responsibilities - at work, at home, and in the community. Feelings of guilt are a common symptom that leads many family caregivers to go it alone, without the help of respite care providers. But overwhelming evidence shows the consequences.
The FCA reports that 40 to 70 percent of caregivers exhibit clinically significant symptoms of depression. And on the physical side of the equation, the Center on Aging Society adds that one in 10 family caregivers claim a decline in physical health resulting from their caregiving.
This can be especially true when caring for a senior with significant chronic health conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. In testimony before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, Stephen McConnell, senior vice president of advocacy and public policy for the Alzheimer's Association, said that one in eight Alzheimer caregivers suffer injury or illness.
Help is all around if you look for it. The FCA's Family Care Navigator helps locate nearby support, and you can use Comfort Keepers' Local Office Finder to pinpoint the nearest Comfort Keepers office to you.