Has someone suggested respite care to help you and your loved one? If so, you probably have questions about what respite care is, how to hire it and what you can expect for you and your parent. Rest assured that respite care is a wonderful service that allows you to take a break once in a while. It should be utilized more often by caregivers.

Here are five common questions about respite care and their responses.


  1. What is respite care exactly?

Respite care is simply a break from caregiving. It can be either planned or in an emergency situation, and it’s designed to help families who currently care for someone with a disability, chronic illness or other special needs. Respite care can be offered in the person’s home or in an outside setting.


  1. When should respite care be used?

Respite care can be used at any time. In the summer, for instance, some families use respite care while they are on vacation. Other caregivers schedule a day or two out of the week so they have time to exercise, see the doctor and take care of themselves. Some caregivers only use respite care on an as-needed or emergency basis.


  1. Who is respite care designed for?

Respite care is designed for full-time caregivers who need a break from caregiving. But even part-time caregivers need help sometimes, especially if they’re also caring for a family or have a full-time career.


  1. Should I choose in-home or out-of-home care?

In-home respite care is the most convenient option because your parent gets to stay in their familiar surroundings. The respite care provider learns the home and the routine so that everything is kept consistent. Out-of-home respite care may be the better choice if your parent requires complicated medical assistance, or needs care for an extended period of time.


  1. What type of care is provided?

The respite provider will assess your loved one’s needs in advance to determine the level of care they need. Though respite care providers vary on the services they offer, you can expect, in general, the following types of care:


  • Companionship and socialization
  • Doctor appointments
  • Running errands
  • Light housekeeping
  • Meal preparation
  • Basic first aid and CPR
  • Assistance with daily activities
  • Wound care and dressing changes
  • Medication assistance
  • Tube feedings and IVs
  • Live-in care

We hope that this information has helped you better understand respite care and how it can help you and your family. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to take advantage of it. It’s here for full-time caregivers just like you!