8 Essential Questions about Respite Care

If you’re a full-time caregiver, you can’t do it all. If you feel like you could use a break every once in awhile, don’t be afraid to ask for help or look into respite care.

  1. What is respite care? You can continue to care for your loved one in your home, while also hiring a professional for short-term or periodic help. This can help both mentally and physically, while also delaying the action of permanently putting your loved one in an outside facility.
  2. When should you use it? Maybe you want to take a vacation with your family, or maybe you would benefit from a regular couple-hour break each week. Many metro areas around the country have professional organizations that provide this type of assistance.
  3. How often? Respite care can be as frequent or as infrequent as you prefer. Think about the needs of your family and your care recipient and decide what’s best for all of you.
  4. Who should use it? Respite care is primarily designed for full-time caregivers who need a break every now and then.
  5. In home? In-home respite care is very convenient because the professional learns the home, the family’s routine and comes to the house. The care recipient doesn’t have to travel anywhere or be put in an unfamiliar environment.
  6. Out of home? If your loved one needs complicated medical assistance it might be better to look at a temporary respite care option outside of the home, where the care recipient can stay for a couple days up to a couple weeks’ time. This facility may be more equipped to manage health or emergency issues.
  7. What will they do? Assess your needs to decide what type of outside help you need. Do you want emotional support? Help with personal care, like bathing or feeding? Do you want someone to help with meals or shopping?
  8. What about cost? The cost will depend on the services you need. If you’re looking for something more basic, like someone to sit with your loved one for a few hours, you could look into community, volunteer or church programs that may offer “sitters” at no cost. Insurance may not cover this type of service, so talk to your provider right away.

Remember to conduct interviews with whoever may be coming into your home and only use someone you feel comfortable with. Also, if it seems like it’s not working out, don’t hesitate to break ties and find another option.

Your Questions about Respite Care

What types of questions to did you ask when considering respite care? We’d love to hear what story of questions you are asking. Share them in the comments section below.

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  • pam

    Donna – When I needed respite care I found volunteers from my mother’s church, as well as from the hospice care provider. We used both in-home (once for a whole day so I could get out of the house and spend time with my boys!) and in-facility respite care. Both were lifesavers for me (sole caregiver of my bedridden mother). Best of luck finding respite care in your community that works for you.

  • Donna Flaherty

    I have heard of respite care, but how do you find a respite care giver in your community?