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Respite Care: Taking Care of Caregivers

Providing care for an elderly or disabled family member is a full-time job and although it can be fulfilling and rewarding, it can also be emotionally draining and demanding. Respite care offered by Caregiver Resource Center of Orange County to primary caregivers who are residents of OC can schedule respite using an in-home care agency. Short-term respite can be scheduled for a few hours per day or for a few days to give the primary caregiver a short-term relief from their caregiving responsibilities. Caregivers taking respite go to their own doctor appointments, have lunch with friends, take a walk, read a book, do errands or get away for a few days to have a change of scenery.

Respite can benefit both the caregiver but also can benefit the care recipient as their loved one now has an opportunity to interact with a new person who has been trained to know their schedule, likes and dislikes. In-home respite can be provided utilizing an in-home care agency or an out-of-home option, i.e. adult day care, (social or medical models are available depending on your loved one’s needs) and/or residential care facilities, i.e. board and care homes.

In Home Care Providers

In-home care providers can be accessed by contacting an in-home care agency or by referral. Professional in-home care workers are licensed and insured. It is always important to do your due diligence and ask these questions before hiring someone to come into your home. Some in-home care providers have limited medical training, again ask the agency what qualifications their employees have depending on the needs of your loved one.

Family members can also offer respite to a family caregiver by caring for a family member for a few hours or a few days at a time. The benefits to the primary caregiver to be able to get away from their caregiving duties for a short period of time can be profound in alleviating stress and their overall health.

Out of Home Respite Care

Out-of-home care includes adult day care centers (social/medical models) and/or residential programs. Board and Care homes, nursing facilities, or memory care facilities in assisted living centers can also offer long-term care. Both residential and day care options offer a social environment if the goal is to alleviate loneliness and/or isolation for a loved one.

Some facilities offer counseling services, healthcare, nutrition programs, personal care, organized activities, therapy and allow hospice services but each facility is different so be sure to ask questions and do your research.

Paying for Respite Care

The cost involved to provide respite care for the primary caregiver can be prohibitive but there are government programs, scholarships and sliding scale fees that may be available depending on your situation. The following website contains information about different government programs that are available for elderly and lower-income care receivers. Veterans can also apply for support from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Learn More about Your Respite Care Options

There are many resources available online to find more information on what is available in your area. We’ve put together this collection of resources to support you as you explore options for respite care.


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