What is Respite Care and how do I get it?

What is Respite Care?

Strictly speaking, Respite Care means temporary or limited time care to relieve the primary caregiver. For example, this could mean that somebody relieves you a few hours a day or relieves you on weekends or provides you additional support during short term rehab and so on. There is no strict definition and it varies according to one’s circumstances.

Respite Care is a way to give break to the primary caregiver. Caregiving is a stressful task and being able to take a break from it is important for the well-being of the caregiver.

Who can provide Respite Care?

Respite care can be provided by another family member or a friend or a professional caregiver. If you have another family member or a friend who is willing to be your backup or who is willing to share responsibilities with you, then its a great option to provide care for your loved one without having to look outside. Unfortunately, its very seldom that you have someone else in the family who is available or willing to help, in such a case, your only choice is to look outside and find someone else to relieve you.

Respite Care Provider

There are multiple ways through which you can find the right caregiver or respite care provider. One popular way is to ask your family/friends to see if they would recommend someone, someone that they have used in the past and were happy with their service. Alternatively, there are portals like care.com that you can use to search for qualified caregivers in your area. In either of those cases, when you hire a caregiver, you have to make sure you are aware and follow applicable labor laws and also perform the full background check to ensure you know who is going to be caring for your loved one. The other common problem in caregiving is that since its a thankless job, caregivers do tend to move around a lot. If you do hire a caregiver, be ready to handle a situation when the caregiver decides to not to come to work one fine day. If your schedule is flexible then its not a big problem, but if you are someone who can’t afford to be stuck in that situation then you may want to consider getting a caregiver through a professional agency since they most likely will have backup caregivers to address this exact situation or atleast they will be able to find you a replacement caregiver quicker then you going on your own. Here is a good article that describes the pros and cons of hiring a private caregiver vs going with a home care agency. If you go with an agency, agency will be responsible for payroll, training, background checks and managing the schedule of the caregiver.

What kind of services should I expect from a Respite Care Provider?

Respite Care providers provide an array of services. From specialized care for Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Stroke, Cancer and rehab to providing any kind of personal hygiene care like giving a bath, changing depends (incontinence care) to performing light housekeeping; they typically perform all those duties. Some agencies allow their caregivers to run errands or drive clients to Dr’s appointments as well. Its always a good idea to find out what services are performed and emphasize your needs so there is no disappointment later on.

How much does Respite Care cost? Is there a program to cover the costs?

Respite care services are generally billed on an hourly basis. The actual cost will depend upon the condition of the patient, type of services you need, total hours of care and the location. More hours of care you request, the better hourly rate you will get. If you hire someone directly, remember to add other tangible and intangible costs (payroll taxes, risk of theft etc) to come up with the real cost. Medicaid, some Medicare Advantage (MA) programs, long term insurances and Veterans Benefits may pay for these types of services. Paying from out of pocket is also very common for these types of services.

If you are responsible for taking care of a loved one, respite care is a great way to ensure you don’t have a caregiver fatigue or burn out. Even if you have to pay from your pocket, in the long run it will ensure your own good health and will enable you to provide care to your loved one for an extended period of time.

If you need respite care in Texas, visit our respite care page for more details. You can also drop us an email at info@lifefoundationhomecare.com or call us at (832) 612-0472 to discuss the respite care needs for you or for your loved ones. Together We Can.

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