Respite Care: Out-of-Home and In Home Care Options

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posted by Ryan Whittington on January 31, 2011

Respite care can be defined as a short or long term break from caregiving responsibilities for caregivers or family members.  Caregivers and family members regularly deal with situations including caring for children or adults with disabilities, or chronic or terminal illnesses.

Respite can exist as overnight assistance or short and long periods of time throughout the day.  Families can choose to use respite time to take an extended vacation or to get out of the house for a couple of hours to visit the dentist or run an errand.  However you choose to use respite time, know that respite for a caregiver can be the difference between being a healthy caregiver and getting burnt out.  Rather than thinking of respite care as a selfish luxury, think of it as a chance to re-energize your batteries.

Respite care can be provided by a family member, loved one or close personal friend, as well as in a more professional setting by a private duty home care company.  Using a private duty home care company will require a financial commitment, however a good company should offer several pricing options to fit your needs.

In addition to providing direct relief, respite has added benefits for families, including:

  • Relaxation. Respite gives families peace of mind, helps them relax, and renews their humor and their energy;
  • Enjoyment. Respite allows families to enjoy favorite pastimes and pursue new activities;
  • Stability. Respite improves the family's ability to cope with daily responsibilities and maintain stability during crisis;
  • Preservation. Respite helps preserve the family unit and lessens the pressures that might lead to institutionalization, divorce, neglect, and child abuse;
  • Involvement. Respite allows families to become involved in community activities and to feel less isolated;
  • Time Off. Respite allows families to spend time together and alone; and
  • Enrichment. Respite makes it possible for family members to establish individual identities and enrich their own growth and development.

The Alzheimer's Association provides some additional community support for caregivers reaching out for respite care.

One last thing. While finding an independent person to provide respite services can be less expensive than some agencies, there are benefits to using an company to coordinate services. An agency will find appropriate caregivers, handle scheduling, pay payroll and payroll taxes as well as find replacements due to illness or unexpected events. If you are experiencing a problem with a specific person, an agency provides a way to file a complaint or problem without dealing with an individual person.


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Caregiving and Case Management
  1. Plenty Offish

    Plenty Offish

    October 17, 2015

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  2. Lily Bridgers

    Lily Bridgers

    September 27, 2023

    It’s good to know that a family member, loved one, or close friend can offer respite care, as well as a private duty home care agency in a more formal environment. With my grandmother’s health declining, my mom has been taking on more caregiving responsibilities, and it’s starting to take a toll on her own well-being. She’s considering looking for a Professional Respite Care service to give herself some much-needed breaks and ensure she can continue to provide the best care for my grandmother.

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