Respite Care...

Are you considering going to a family reunion?  Do you have some elective surgery coming up?  Does your loved one have a declining neurological health issue?  Finding the best placement for your loved one is easier to do if you plan ahead. One of the members of one of our support groups planned a trip to Europe to see a son stationed over there. She placed her husband a week before she left so that she could deal with any initial issues while she was still in this area. That was a very smart caregiver. Here are more ideas for you:

For In Home Care:
1. Try to make arrangements for alternate in home caregivers well in advance of your vacation. Do not expect other family members to take on full responsibility for care with only a weeks notice. Ensure substitute caregivers know the dates and expectations for care they will provide.
2. Have your loved one and the substitute in home care provider meet before you leave so that they will both be more comfortable together. Ensure that the level of care needed matches the care provider’s abilities.
3. Be sure substitute caregivers have access to all information needed including: medication schedule (also be sure to have an ample supply of medication available), all emergency phone numbers including doctor, pharmacy, nearest relative, your contact information, a listing of medical conditions, power of attorney and health care proxy information.

Placement Options:
4. When deciding to use a formal provider for respite care, there are many options. Care homes, assisted living facilities and memory care facilities are among the options.  Placement specialists are such a great resource, because you are connecting with placement personnel who know the various group homes and larger facility options. Use that resource; placement help can take a huge burden off of your shoulders.  These people are the professionals who are more familiar with the reputations of the homes, the financial responsibilities involved, the locations, and more. 
5. Homes can often provide care on a short-term respite basis if they have openings. The private care provider will have to decide if your loved one meets the level of care their facility offers.
Recognize that both you and your loved one will have a degree of worry and stress because this is a change in the routine.

Caregivers often need to be reminded that part of taking care of someone else is taking care of themselves. Recognizing and acting on that need for relief and respite is probably the greatest gift you can give your loved one. It is the gift that will allow you to continue caring.

Take care…….Regina