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Daily troubles and problems can be overwhelming at some points and we might need to take a break. Everyone deserves a break every now and then, especially if we suffer from illnesses or are performing a hard task of being a caregiver.

In these situations, when a break is needed, respite care can prove to be of great assistance, providing individuals a new environment for relaxation and enjoyment. The time spent in respite care can range from a couple of hours to several days or even weeks, depending on your desires and needs.

What is Respite Care?

Basically, respite care is a type of care and support enabling one to manage to get some rest and to break the habits and step out of the boring everyday routines. Once a person gets admitted to a respite care facility, he/she manages to spend time with other people and socialize, leaving the home and the fixed patterns for a while. At the same time, while the demented person is enjoying his/her time outside the home, the caregiver can have his/her well deserved rest too.

The care received in respite care facilities can be provided by paid staff, family or friends. Sometimes, even a residential care center or a community organization can provide this form of care and support, regardless of the time and the frequency of such assistance.

While spending time in respite care, the person can get in contact with the rest of his/her family, have fun shopping, exercising, undergoing cosmetic treatments or paying his/her doctor a visit. The time spent in respite care is valuable since it enables the demented person to get in contact with others who walk in his/her shoes, enjoy him/herself through various interesting activities and remain safe and well taken care of during all this period.

What are the different Kinds of Respite Care Services?

One of the possible types of respite care is in-home respite care, providing supervision, recreational activities and visits from other people. Also, this kind of respite care may provide one with bathing, dressing, toileting and many other forms of assistance, along with cleaning, housekeeping, shopping and food preparation.

The respite care may be provided by certified agencies and highly trained professionals or family members and people who do this for a living. Therefore, sometimes, the respite care is free, while at some other occasions, the caregiver may need to cover the expenses of this form of support and care. Of course, due to the fact that every disease needs to be approached differently, it is best to seek assistance and respite care from qualified and skilled people, especially in cases of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

Apart from the in-home respite care, this form of care can be administered in adult day centers. There, the visitors will be exposed to music, recreation, conversations and support groups, supervised by professional staff and health experts. Usually, these centers are open from 7 to 10 hours a day, some of them working weekends and overtime too, providing various benefits such as meals and drug administering.

Alternatively, the respite care may be informal, provided by a close friend, neighbor, a volunteer or a family member, performing small but valuable tasks such as going to the store, keeping an eye on the sick person or, simply, chatting and spending quality time with him/her. For this, you might need to get availability lists from all people willing to help, knowing which person you can count on once you experience a caregiver's burnout.

Finally, the person may stay in residential respite care facility overnight or during a couple of days. In order for this to be possible, you will need to make reservations in advance and plan everything out. However, bear in mind that the sick person may not fit in well in the new environment or may not enjoy the changes and the breaking of the daily routine. So, make sure you pay him/her a visit after a couple of hours of staying, once you plan to provide several days of residential respite care.

Finding What's Best for You

Once you have found the type of respite care you need, made reservations and taken care of all the details, there are several additional things you might need to bear in mind.

First of all, you might want to talk to the person with dementia and let him/her know about the visit to the respite care, preparing him/her for this and providing all help and assistance before you part.

Secondly, make sure you research the respite care providers well. Some facilities may have limited support or may provide care only for individuals meeting certain requirements. Make sure you have everything sorted out before sending the demented person to such facilities. It is best to talk to the managers or pay a visit to the respite care providers before closing any deals. There, you can ask about the price, accommodation and many other qualities of respite care first-handedly. Also, this way, you will get to know the people who will take care of the person you are being a caregiver to.

Ultimately, do not be bothered by the feelings of guilt and rest assured that the person will be well taken care of, even though you will not be there.

All in all, there are many options once you start considering finding adequate respite care for the person you are taking care of. Pay attention to the lines you have just read and do your research well before taking such a step, ensuring your proper resting and rehabilitation and enjoyment and a pleasant stay of the demented individual.

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