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A Guide to Respite Care for Family Caregivers

Family caregivers can face a lot of stress when taking care of a loved one full-time. There are many responsibilities and it can be difficult to keep up with their needs as well as one’s personal needs. Caregivers may also struggle to balance their life when they need to spend most of their time with someone who needs constant assistance. This can lead to caregivers isolating themselves and burning out because they don’t want to ask for help.

When caregivers feel like they need a break, they can turn to respite care, which gives caregivers time to recharge. It also provides a loved one with new experiences and interactions with others.

What Is Respite Care?

Respite care is a short period of time when the caregiver can gain relief from taking care of a loved one in order to take care of themselves. They can relax, recharge, and find stability in their life again. They can catch up on tasks they may have fallen behind on and reconnect with family and friends they might have distanced themselves from.

Types of Respite Care

There are many types of respite care available for family caregivers. They range from asking those close to them for help to arranging time with home care agencies and assisted living facilities that can provide care of a loved one for a while.

Informal – Friend, family member or neighbor

It’s okay to periodically ask a friend, a family member or a neighbor for help.  Sometimes family caregivers may feel distant from everyone because they focus all of their time on taking care of their loved one, but if they reach out, they can surely find someone willing to help.

In-Home – Professional agency

Professional in-home respite care comes with several additional benefits that a friend or neighbor may not provide. The aide typically comes anywhere from once a week to every day: these are regularly scheduled times that you can plan around.  .Services include assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) such as bathing, grooming, dressing and exercising. In addition, aides will plan and prepare meals, clean and replace linens, as well as assist with laundry and other housekeeping duties. Skilled care providers may also come to your home to assist with medical needs. Also, the agency has vetted the caregivers with formal background checks, drug testing, BMV reports, etc.

Day Centers

Day centers provide care for a loved one outside of the home and engage in interactions with others while participating in recreational activities. They can also participate in support groups if needed. This type of respite care helps caregivers who need to balance jobs and other commitments.


This is when a loved one stays in a residential facility overnight or for a longer period. These extended stays help caregivers find normalcy in their daily life again and assist in destressing. A loved one might resist this change at first, but by explaining the process to them and regularly visiting, they will eventually get used to the new environment.


Sometimes emergencies come up, so it’s important to have a plan on how to take care of a loved one in these situations. Emergency respite care can come in the form of a family member, friend, or a facility that offers emergency services. To ensure a loved one has somewhere to go in emergencies, a caregiver should do research ahead of time.

Preparing For Respite Care

To prepare for respite care, a caregiver should tell the staff or aide about the needs and characteristics of their loved one so they are informed. A professional agency or facility will complete an assessment, asking a series of questions to ensure a proper care plan is in place. Caregivers should also research and interview the people who will be taking care of their loved one so they know they have the qualifications. The caregiver should explain to their loved one what is happening so they can prepare to adjust to the new situation.

Concerns about Respite Care

One concern of respite care is that it’s costly and not covered by Medicare, but there are ways to obtain financial assistance. Another concern is the reliability of staff and aides, but as long as a caregiver does their research, they should be able to find reliable providers. Lastly, family caregivers may feel guilty that they cannot take care of their loved one alone, but they should understand that it’s okay to ask for help.

Being a caregiver to a loved one is a difficult job and it’s sometimes necessary to take a break. Choosing respite care is a good way to relieve some of that stress and allow a loved one to experience something different.  In many cases the interaction with others proves beneficial for your loved one.

Our Commitment

We take our responsibility to provide competent, experienced respite care seriously. If you are a primary caregiver needing to be away from your loved one for any reason, contact Arista Home Care Solutions today.

Call us at (419) 754-1897 to schedule a free in-home assessment.

You are not alone. We are here to help.