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WHAT IS RESPITE CARE?
“A SHORT PERIOD OF REST OR RELIEF FROM
SOMETHING DIFFICULT OR UNPLEASANT”
“AN INTERVAL OF REST OR RELIEF”
Respite care is when substitute caregivers assist so that the primary
caregiver can take a break.
It can be a regular break (once/week for example) or a one-
time/occasional event (such as for a trip, vacation or during an illness).
Respite can be provided in-home or at a care facility.
Why do I need respite care?
• 17% of caregivers feel their health in general has
gotten worse as a result of their caregiving
• 40% to 70% of family caregivers have clinically
significant symptoms of depression with about a
quarter to half of these caregivers meeting the
diagnostic criteria for major depression.
• Caring for persons with dementia is reported to impact
a person’s immune system for up to 3 years after their
caregiving experience ends, thus increasing their
chances of developing a chronic illness themselves.
*Family Caregiver Alliance statistics
Respite care helps you avoid caregiver burnout and stay
healthy and at your best to care for your loved one. It is
not selfish, but a gift to both yourself and your care
• Respite care is one of the services that Alzheimer’s
caregivers say they need most (Leon, et al., 1998).
• Respite has been shown to improve family functioning,
improve satisfaction with life, enhance the capacity to cope
with stress, and improve attitudes toward the family
member with a disability (Cohen and Warren, 1985).
• Sixty-four percent of caregivers of the elderly receiving 4
hours of respite per week after one year reported
improved physical health, 78% improved their emotional
health, and 50% cited improvement in the care recipient as
well. Forty percent said they were less likely to
institutionalize the care recipient because of respite (Theis,
S.L., et al, 1994).
RESPITE CARE OPTIONS
In-Home Care: respite care is provided in the caregiver or
care recipient’s home, usually by a home care agency (or
relatives/friends helping out)
Benefits: familiar environment, comfort level for care
recipient, totally customized and personalized,
times/schedule can be flexible, can be done on a regular
basis or for various periods, can be very affordable for
routine respite also
Facility: the care recipient has a short-term stay at an
assisted living or nursing home
Benefits: built-in activities/socialization, can be cost-
effective for longer stays (1 week, 1 month etc.)
Adult Day Care: agencies or facilities may offer day
programs for a care recipient to attend and take part in
activities/receive meals and some level of care
Benefits: potentially affordable option for ongoing respite,
financial assistance may be available
Paying for Respite Care
• Costs vary by area and type of respite: check various
options and find out what is included
• Financial assistance may be available from your Area
Agency on Aging or caregiver and disease-specific
organizations (i.e. Alzheimer’s Association, MS Society)
• In-home care is usually per hour rate; facility care is by
week/month/day and adult day care is per day or half
• Understand inclusions and extras. Consider having a
geriatric care manager assess your options so you can
understand the pros and cons for your situation.
• Explore all options and understand pros and cons
for your loved one. Find out about providers and
prepare a list of questions when interviewing
• Compile information on your loved one: health
information, medication list, key contacts,
routine, likes/dislikes, favorite activities, etc.
• Get EasyLiving’s FREE
Prepare for Respite Care Checklist
• Give it a try before a crisis!
Preparing for Respite Care
www.easylivingfl.com –Award winning, Florida licensed home health care and home
caregivers in Pinellas and Pasco Counties, with specialty dementia care and personalized
respite care. Free home safety resources and weekly blog updates about aging health,
caregiving and aging-in-place.
www.agingwisely.com –Geriatric care management and patient advocacy in Florida and
nationwide care consultation services; dementia education; help with Medicare,
Medicaid, benefit programs and resources. Our experts offer insider advice on our blog
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