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Respite Care: Why Caregivers Need Eight Hours A Week and Where to Get It

Caregiving can take a toll on caregivers, physically, mentally and emotionally. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, caregiving can lead to increased stress, chronic health challenges and depression. It is important that caregivers have a break, or respite, from their caregiving responsibilities on a regular basis.

Respite care can be good for both the caregiver and his/her loved one. Experts agree that taking care of one’s self is one of the most important things a caregiver can do to stay healthy and to continue being an effective caregiver. Malaz Boustani, M.D., MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of the Innovation and Implementation Science Initiative, Indiana University School of Medicine, says respite care is not an option – it’s a requirement for caregivers who want to prevent burnout.

Where to Find Respite Care

Caregiver Options Counselor Kate Kunk says the easiest place to find respite care is by asking family, friends or members of one’s faith community. This network of family and friends can provide non-medical care for a day or several hours, providing the primary caregiver with time to complete shopping and other household tasks or down time to enjoy fun activities like watching a movie or enjoying a meal at a restaurant.

She added that local adult daycare facilities also offer respite care. Kunk suggests checking with different providers because many offer scholarships to cover the costs. Professional, in-home care providers can be another option for respite care. The AARP suggests looking at the available respite options and developing a respite care plan.

Call CICOA’s Aging & Disability Resource Center at 317-803-6131 to learn about Central Indiana’s respite care options.