Serving as a caregiver is a noble but draining job. Caregivers can suffer from a variety of physical and emotional burdens whether they are a part-time or full-time caregiver. They may deal with losing sleep, lack of an appetite, depression, exhaustion, increased anxiety, and compassion fatigue as they take care of their loved one’s needs.
Of course, you love your family, but there comes a time when everyone needs a break. Respite care exists to respond to the ongoing need for caregivers to rejuvenate themselves so they can continue to care for their disabled loved one.
Respite care is a temporary reprieve from the responsibilities of taking care of a disabled child or adult. It helps promote the mental and physical health of caregivers. Caregiving is a high-stress job, and it is important to take regular breaks to better serve yourself and your loved one. There are many different types of respite care to meet various needs.
There are many types of respite care that support different needs. Here are some of the most common types of respite care for parents and other caregivers of children and adults with disabilities.
You may be able to arrange for in-home respite care on a regular schedule – for a few hours either daily, weekly, or as needed. These service providers can help with homemaking services as well as the physical needs of the patient.
Drop-off programs may be available in schools, group homes, and health care facilities. For older people with disabilities, adult daycare services may offer a needed break for a caregiver, especially if they work a full-time job in addition to their caregiving responsibilities.
Volunteers also give their time to alleviate the burden caregivers face. You may be able to find these services through faith-based or religious groups, civic organizations, or other nonprofits.
Emergency respite services can help if a child or adult’s primary caregiver suddenly becomes unavailable. People with disabilities may rely on emergency respite care in a crisis, such as if their primary caregiver experiences a serious illness, a death in their family, homelessness, or another unforeseen situation.
Paying for this type of care probably stands among your top concerns. Fortunately, there are many options for covering respite care for disabled children and adults, including the following:
A Medicaid waiver for a qualifying child with disabilities may cover the cost of respite care. Medicaid will pay for the caregiver’s respite through the home and community-based part of the Medicaid policy. However, the range of options may vary across states.
Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance policy adults can invest in and use the funds for care as they get older. Their caregivers can use the funds from the senior’s policy to pay for respite care. Policies vary, so it’s important to speak to the insurance provider to know the limits of the senior’s policy.
Veterans may qualify for health care benefits that cover respite care for certain family members with disabilities. Qualifying seniors may be able to take advantage of in-home, community nursing home, or care at a Veterans Affairs community living center.
The children of active-duty military service members may have respite care benefits as a part of the service member’s childcare benefit.
Lifespan Respite Care Programs is another option that helps cover costs of services for family members caring for loved ones with disabilities. This is a grant program, so availability depends on the state.
Some caregivers are fortunate enough to pay out-of-pocket for the cost of respite care. Seniors and caregivers for disabled children can review their budget to determine if they can pay out-of-pocket for respite care services.
Adding respite care may be the best next step in properly caring for yourself and your family. Do what’s best for you to avoid overwhelm, whether that’s building a formal respite care plan or leaning on friends and family for support.
Search for a local respite program through the National Respite Locater Service.