According to sources, in 2019, there were over 65 million family caregivers, which is a significant increase from the estimated 39 million [those caring for an older adult] in 2015. Undertaking the responsibilities of being a family caregiver is admirable, but it also has unique obstacles.
One way to overcome these obstacles is to utilize respite care services, like those offered at our Community Senior Life’s communities in Alabama and Florida. Though many families could benefit from these short-term services, many may be unaware that they exist or fully understand what they offer and their benefits.
Community Senior Life would like to provide you with a better understanding of respite care services and how you can take advantage of respite care for you and your loved one.
What Are Respite Care Services?
Respite care is a short-term care option that is typically available through senior living communities, including our Community Senior Life communities. Respite care services provide relief for family caregivers who may need a short-term break from their responsibilities. This could be for the caregiver to run errands, handle other duties (work, children, etc.), or to have time to practice self-care. Depending on your situation, respite care services can be used for a few hours to a few weeks.
At Community Senior Life, we recommend utilizing our respite care services for at least a few days. This allows your loved one to become a genuine part of our community. When using our respite care services, your loved one will reside within one of our communities and have the opportunity to experience what life is like at a Community Senior Life community.
The Impact of Caregiver Burnout
Caregiver burnout is a term used to describe a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. Many things can cause it but typically is caused when the family caregiver feels overwhelmed by their tasks and responsibilities. While it can seem mild, caregiver burnout can have serious side effects on the health of the caregiver and the recipient of care. Symptoms of caregiver burnout can include feelings of depression, anxiety, withdrawal from family and friends, and even a weakened immune system. Additional factors that may lead to caregiver burnout include:
- Role Confusion – This occurs when a family caregiver has difficulty separating their role as a caregiver from their role as a daughter, son, husband, wife, etc.
- Lack of Control – Some family caregivers may develop caregiver burnout due to the lack of control over their loved one’s health, finances, or the overall plan of care for their loved one.
- Unreasonable Expectations – Many caregivers expect their involvement to have a positive impact on their loved one i.e., health improvements, change in mood, etc. This is particularly present when caring for a loved one with a degenerative condition, such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
- Unreasonable Demands – Some family caregivers may place unreasonable demands on themselves, while family members, friends, and neighbors can also place unreasonable demands on the caregiver. When those demands are not met, the caregiver feels like they have failed.
Being a caregiver is admirable, but as we said, it can come with adverse effects to one’s health if they begin to experience caregiver burnout. We all need a break from time to time or a moment to ourselves. When handling the responsibilities of being a family caregiver, these breaks are even more critical so that you can continue to provide the highest level of care to your parent or loved one.
Why Choose Respite Care?
Respite care services don’t only benefit the family caregiver either; they also benefit the recipient of care. If your loved one is part of our respite care program, they are treated as full residents with us and have complete access to our amenities, health & wellness programs, social gatherings, and anything else at our community. We want you to feel comfort in knowing your loved one is taken care of by our professional and respectful staff, while he or she reaps the benefits of our communities!
Furthermore, some family caregivers and seniors use respite care services as a means of testing out a community with no long-term commitment. Should there come a time when your loved one requires additional care that you cannot provide, this trial run allows your family to experience a senior living community before fully transitioning your loved one there.
Respite care services can place you, and your loved one is a better frame of physical, mental, and emotional health. To learn more about Community Senior Life’s respite care services or discover our other care options, we encourage you to contact one of our experts.