Every caregiver needs a break from time to time. Options for respite care range from informal agreements with friends and neighbors to formal contracts for services with an agency or onsite at a facility. Here are ways to get occasional or regular backup help for a few hours, a few days, or longer.
Ask for help from family and friends
How it helps: You'll get a break; those filling in will better understand both your needs and your loved one's needs. An added benefit: The one receiving care will benefit from receiving comfort and company from another trusted person. Ask the person who they miss and who they would love to spend time with and start with them.
Respite Companion Care
How it helps: An elder companion can prepare meals, do light housekeeping, help with laundry, shop for groceries, run errands -- and, most important, offer companionship to the person you care for when you can't be there.
How to get started: From local sources to national groups and organizations, there are many sources for companion care.
Meals on Wheels. In addition to providing the hallmark service they're known best for -- deliveries of meals to the homes of older adults and others with mobility limitations -- many local Meals on Wheels programs provide outreach services, including a Friendly Visitor Program that pairs a volunteer with a neighboring senior. Begin your search for local help at the Meals on Wheels website.
The Area Agency on Aging. Trained staff at your local Area Agency on Aging can usually provide referrals for local help.
Local newspapers. Try placing an ad briefly describing your needs in a local or community newspaper.
Local high school students. Contact area high school counselors. College-bound students often need community service experience and are available afternoons and evenings.
Respite Personal Care Assistant
How it helps: Personal care assistants -- in addition to providing light housekeeping and homemaking tasks -- can help clients with bathing, dressing, toileting, and grooming. They can't provide medical services, such as diabetes care, but they can help administer prescribed medications and -- if they have the proper training -- help move those who have mobility limitations.
Call QC Cares for support 860-383-2290