Respite Care: Mental, Physical, and Emotional Benefits for Caregivers
Caring for a loved one with developmental disabilities is more than a full-time job. For many caregivers, it’s an obligation that occupies every moment of your day to day life. This mountainous responsibility weighs heavy on one’s mind, shoulders, and heart.
A caregiver’s undertaking is noble. But unfortunately, due to the pressure and neverending workload, they tend to be at a higher risk for stress-related health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and other chronic diseases. Studies show that:
58% of parents/caregivers of individuals with developmental disabilities (I/DD) spend 40+ hours per week providing support for their loved one. That’s a full-time job and then some. On top of this, because caregivers devote so much time and energy to supporting their loved one, they often cannot hold steady or demanding careers, which impacts their household income.
- 88% of caregivers report suffering from physical fatigue some or most of the time. Being in a constant state of high alert while caring for a loved one and lack of sleep result in physical fatigue, which increases the person’s chances of becoming exhausted, ill, or engaging in unsafe practices like operating a vehicle when overtired.
- 81% of caregivers report suffering from emotional stress some or most of the time. Prolonged stress can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other conditions, including mental disorders such as depression or anxiety.
- 1 out of 5 families report someone having to quit their job to support the needs of their loved one. This calls back to caregiving being more than a full-time commitment. If the family can afford to, oftentimes one parent must stay home to care for their child with developmental disabilities, which impacts the entire family unit.
Thankfully to help mitigate these statistics, there’s respite care.
What is Respite Care?
Respite care is a key component to any caregiving program. It’s a service that provides support for family caregivers by providing temporary care for a loved one who needs attention and assistance. This support includes everything from supervision to engaging in social activities, community volunteering, and more.
One of the best things about respite care is its versatility. Respite care can be used as a one-time occasion or regularly. Clients may spend as little as an hour or as much as a couple of weeks in respite. This is especially helpful when the caregiver or loved one’s family goes on vacation, has a family emergency, or needs time to relax and recharge. The most important thing is that it’s here to support both the individual and their caregiver.
The Three R’s of Respite
Respite care is an incredible resource that offers many mental, emotional, and physical benefits to caregivers and their families.
With respite support, caregivers have an opportunity to recharge. You get an opportunity for some much needed rest and relaxation for an afternoon, overnight, or even a vacation. Improved sleep patterns and exercise result in a healthier lifestyle, mindset, and reduced stress levels.
Respite gives caregivers a chance to reconnect with themselves and loved ones, as well as re-engage with hobbies. Reduced stress levels result in happier marriages and improved family life as caregivers can reconnect with other children and people they love. In addition to reconnecting with their family, respite also offers opportunities to network with community resources and other parents of children with developmental disabilities.
You can’t serve from an empty vessel. Caregivers need to rest and rejuvenate so they can return to their important duties refreshed and with a renewed sense of resolve. A little bit of rest and relaxation does wonders for the mind, body, and spirit.
We all dream about what we could do if we just had an extra hour or two in our day. Some of us wish for that extra hour just over the course of a week. You always feel better after some much needed time for yourself, whether it’s spent working or relaxing. As a caregiver, respite care is necessary for both you and your loved one. You will be mentally recharged and ready to welcome the challenges – and joys – of caregiving.
Covey’s respite care program is customized for every individual’s needs. We offer an inclusive and inviting atmosphere. Our staff of friendly, highly-trained professionals are here to help and ensure you get peace of mind.