Establishing a respite care plan is not difficult as long as you give it the proper time and attention. Choose a time and place where you won’t be distracted and will have the opportunity to review all possible scenarios. The goal is to create a plan that outlines the many people you can turn to when you require a break from caregiving.
List the People in Your Care Network
Think broadly about the people who can help you. You may be quick to look only at family members, but consider neighborhood friends, faith groups and social clubs that can offer respite care as well. It doesn’t have to be anything demanding; a simple tea hour or senior art class may be just the break that’s needed. It’s also a good idea to have a list of these people on hand so that you can arrange for backup plans if need be.
Create a Respite Support Group
If you find that you are limited on the people you can turn to for help, you may find it in your best interest to start a respite co-op. The benefits to this is that you are linking families together that all face the same challenges. You may already have a co-op in your community, but if you don’t, it’s easy to start one. Especially with today’s social networking opportunities, you can create groups where people have the choice to join with no pressure. When you have a strong co-op in place, you can all support each other in times of need.
Arrange for In-home Services
Sometimes, there isn’t enough help available, especially when elders start needing specialized care. You may be able to ask a neighbor to come for coffee, but you can’t ask them to administer medication. In-home services can last for a few hours to overnight, and they can be arranged directly with an agency or organization. The advantage to respite services is that many provide skilled and certified caregivers. This ensures that your will loved one will receive adequate care while you’re away.