Becoming a caregiver is one of the toughest jobs a person can have, and it doesn't always happen by choice. Each year, thousands of people make the conscious decision to provide crucial living assistance for their friends, family members or spouses. Countless others are thrust into caregiver roles when loved ones are stricken by injuries, illnesses or disabilities. For some, providing care is as easy as helping out with chores around the house. For others, being a caregiver is literally a full-time job.
Respite care services are designed to provide relief for people who constantly serve as caregivers. Some respite services occur in the home, while other respite services are based upon out-of-home programs. Respite services are extremely valuable because they give caregivers a rare chance to step away from their day-to-day responsibilities. The emotional toll on caregivers can be significant, especially when caregivers are elderly themselves. Many seniors find themselves providing care for their spouses, even when they have health issues and worries that are deserving of someone else's support.
In-home respite services bring relief to the caregiver in the patient's home. Intensive respite services involve volunteers or additional caregivers who relieve caregivers of their workloads. Counseling, therapy and participation in online support groups are other forms of in-home respite care. Many people prefer in-home respite care because they can relax while remaining by the sides of their loved ones. Especially among elderly couples, many caregivers may become more stressed or anxious by leaving their spouses behind.
Out-of-home respite services provide a greater break for caregivers from their stressful environments. There are organized adult day care programs in which patients are briefly removed from their homes. On the other end of the spectrum, more intensive out-of-home respite care requires patients to stay in residential care centers for several days, giving caregivers a longer vacation from their daily responsibilities. Similar to in-home services, there are also out-of-home counseling services in which the caregiver leaves the home to receive assistance. Again, a large number of people turn to this method as a way to find relief for caregivers while causing minimal stress for the patient.
The cost of respite care is minimal compared to the cost of room and board in an assisted living center. People can expect to pay anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to $1,000, depending on the intensity of the respite care being rendered. The cost of respite care can also be higher or lower depending on the amount of medical care the patient needs.