In advanced years of life, many seniors need help with daily tasks such as dressing, light housekeeping, bathing and more. Oftentimes, the first option for this help comes from family and friends who step in as caregivers for assisted living individuals or those with dementia.
While it can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience, caregiving can also take an emotional toll on friends and family, often leading to emotional distress, including anxiety and depression, as well as physical components, such as fatigue hypertension.
With longer life spans and the aging of baby boomers, many adult children find themselves in the “sandwich generation” – responsible for taking care of their parents as well as their own children at the same time. This can overload the caregiver in emotional and financial ways. While 85% of caregivers care for a relative, more than 42% of caregivers are caring for a parent.
Caregivers can often be unpaid when caring for a family member. About 34.2 million Americans provide unpaid care to an adult. The value of these services has increased with an estimated economic value of $470 billion per year. Family caregivers spend an average of 24.4 hours per week providing care. Nearly 1 in 4 caregivers spends 41 hours or more per week providing care.
How Can I Prevent Caregiver Burnout?
Caregiving can often bring about different emotions, such as frustration, anger and exhaustion. Caregivers often feel overwhelmed or burned out if they are responsible for taking care of themselves and others on a regular basis.
Here are a few ways that caregivers can recharge and refresh:
- Take steps to stay healthy with exercise, sleep and nutritious meals
- Set realistic goals for caregiving and ask for help when needed
- Recognize your own feelings and emotional state
- Talk about your feelings with friends and family members
- Outsource care to a family member or respite service
What Is Respite Care for Seniors?
In recent years, more senior living communities have offered respite care programs – providing short-term relief for caregivers. Respite care can be utilized temporarily or long-term – such as if the primary caregivers go on vacation and want to ensure care for their loved one while they are gone.
The peace of mind that respite care brings is valuable for both the caregiver and the senior, knowing that their needs are met and that they are safe and secure with 24-hour support.
Holly Hill Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Sulphur, Louisiana, is a warm and welcoming community for both permanent and short-term residents. Completely renovated in the last few years, Holly Hill provides respite care for assisted living and memory care individuals, offering the following services for short-term or long-term stays:
- Furnished apartments
- Chef-prepared meals (special diets accommodated)
- Medication management
- Team members available 24 hours a day
- Outpatient therapy
- Health and wellness management
- 24-hour concierge and services
- Cultural, intellectual, social and spiritual programming
Seeking respite care can ease the burden of caregiving to relieve stress and offer balance in your life. It can also ease the emotional and physical distress, preventing caregivers from becoming overly exhausted, isolated or burned out.
Caregivers must maintain their own health and safety to manage their role as a caregiver, and it is necessary to have time for themselves outside of caregiving. This is where the benefits of respite care come in – allowing a break and breather for the caregiver to recharge and prioritize themselves while knowing that their loved one is taken care of.
When seeking respite care, interview and visit local communities such as Holly Hill and observe the day of a respite care resident. Observe the team members and how they interact and care for residents, and ask as many questions as you can to get a true feel for the environment that your loved one will be in.
Everyone deserves a break once in a while! Incorporating respite stays into your caregiving routine can help you breathe easier and refresh yourself to continue to give yourself the grace and time you need to care for your loved one.
We welcome you to experience Holly Hill’s respite care by scheduling a tour at your convenience. Contact us at 337-625-5843. We’re excited to meet you!