The Oxford Languages Dictionary defines “respite” as “a short period of rest or relief.” If you care for a loved one at home, do you sometimes feel that you need respite physically, mentally, and emotionally? If so, you’re not alone.

Being a caregiver for a sick, aging, or disabled family member can take its toll on you over time. As a result, you can feel physically and mentally exhausted, and emotionally drained. Respite care helps ease the burden of family caregiving and helps restore your energy, relieve stress, and promote balance in your life.

Having a professional caregiver give you a break can prevent you from becoming isolated, exhausted, or burned out. Respite care also benefits your loved one with variety, stimulation, and a welcome change of routine.

Three Pieces of Advice Before You Use Respite Care

Taking the plunge and getting outside assistance isn’t always an easy thing to do. So, as you decide whether or not to use respite care services from an agency, consider these three pieces of advice given by experts on caregiving:

  1. Multiple relationships are vital. No matter how close you are to your loved one or how well you’re coping as their caregiver, it’s not healthy to spend every hour of every day and night with the same person, especially in an inevitably stressful caregiving environment. Everyone needs the stimulation of multiple relationships, including you as the caregiver and your loved one as the care recipient.
  2. Accept that no one else will offer the same level of love as you—and find the best alternative. Even if you know that you’re the best possible person to care for your loved one, that’s no reason not to seek respite care. If nothing else, your loved one will appreciate you even more when you return from your break. Having time apart can help refresh and rejuvenate any relationship.
  3. There’s nothing abnormal about needing a break. Most of us work 40-hour weeks with a coffee break and lunch hour every day, and evenings and weekends off. Even people with more demanding schedules don’t work around the clock, day after day, without ever having a break or some time to themselves to look forward to. Taking time off is vital to your health and well-being.

Home Care Agency or Private Caregiver?

Independent (self-employed) caregivers are generally less expensive than home care agencies, but agencies can be much easier to use. A professional agency will:

  • Carefully screen and vet all potential caregivers
  • Provide bonding and insurance
  • Handle payroll taxes
  • Provide caregivers regular training, which is necessary for a caregiver to develop as a professional and provide the best care possible to their client

Learn More About Respite Care

Is using professional respite care right for you? Learn more about how it works when you talk with a professional from Colonial Home Care Services. We’ve been providing respite care for family caregivers for almost 30 years. We make it easy for you to secure quality care – even with short notice in an emergency situation.

Call us today at (800) 497-1287 and schedule your free, in-home consultation. Take time and get to know us; we’d love to become part of your extended family.