Choosing a Respite Care Provider
The statistics are staggering.
Last year, more than 34 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that about 15.7 million adult family caregivers voluntarily care for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.
Many of these caregivers work full-time and/or have children at home. In other words, they’re being pulled in many different directions. When you look at monthly averages, it’s hard to imagine where this sandwich generation finds the time to care for so many people.
According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, most caregivers spend about 13 days a month helping with activities including transportation, laundry, and shopping. When it comes to activities of daily living (ADL’s)—bathing, dressing, feeding—caregivers devote about six days each month. Further, caregivers spend an additional 13 hours every month doing research about medications, therapies, doctors, and diseases for and about their loved ones.
To The Rescue can help. Our goal is to improve the lives of individuals and families. We provide home health care, skilled nursing, home cleaning, respite care, and so much more.
If you’re considering respite care for a loved one, we hope the following five questions will help.
What is respite care?
Just as caring for a baby or small child is exhausting, so too is being responsible for an older adult. Bathing, grooming, feeding, and dispensing medicines may just be a few of the daily tasks you perform for your loved one. You may be unable to leave the house or tend to your own needs. Respite care is the answer.
Respite care offers you the chance to lower your stress, run errands, take a holiday, tend to other family members, or boost your energy. According to AARP, it’s important for caregivers to take care of themselves. And, as the airlines say, unless you place your own oxygen mask on first, you’re unable to help anyone else. Respite care provides a much-needed break for you, the caregiver.
Who is eligible for respite care?
Adults who suffer from developmental, mental, and physical needs are all appropriate candidates for respite care. Each state’s Department of Human Services can help families with resources for their loved ones. You can also find additional information through the Alzheimer’s Association.
How do I choose the best in-home caregiver?
Do your research. Ask questions. Check references. The more you know, the better informed your decisions will be and the more peace of mind you’ll feel. Following are just a few questions you can ask of potential agencies:
• What types of services do you provide?
• Are you bonded and insured?
• What type of training do your staff members receive?
• How much advance scheduling is required for respite care?
• Does your agency have any accreditations?
• What are your fees?
• Do you offer a sliding scale for services?
• Can my loved one meet your caregiver before we schedule him or her for service?
• In case of emergency, what is your action plan?
• On average, what is the typical respite care time period?
• May I see your references?
At To The Rescue, we’re proud of the work we do and always happy to answer your questions. Trust your instincts about care providers. If someone is unwilling to provide the information you request, it’s best to keep looking.
How do I pay for respite care?
At To The Rescue, we provide private pay respite services on a short- and long-term basis. We also offer grants for Douglas County, Colorado residents who qualify.
One good place to search for funding sources is http://www.211.org/. You may also just call the number, 2-1-1. This free confidential service connects you with critical health and human services.
Another good place to search is your local Area Agency on Aging. Or you can phone their national Eldercare Locator (800.677.1116). This toll-free line helps you locate resources to provide the best possible care for your loved one.
Finally, most states offer some sort of financial assistance through Medicaid or other funding sources. Learn more about 1915(c) Home & Community-Based Waivers
Talk with the experienced staff at To The Rescue and we’ll work with you to find the funding you need.
How does To The Rescue assess my loved one’s needs?
We will schedule a free, no-obligation intake interview. During this initial meeting, we assess your situation and work together to develop a plan of care. To The Rescue can also assist you with coordination of care.
Let To The Rescue help you. Contact us today. We look forward to working with you.