Importance of Respite for Dementia Caregivers

By Annette Bratcher, 8:00 am on

The term caregiver is used to describe someone who assumes responsibility for the care of those who are no longer able to independently care for themselves. What that definition does not address is the varying levels of care required based on the care recipient’s physical or mental decline. With dementia care specifically, changes in mood, behavior or ability can occur almost overnight, leaving a caregiver unable or unequipped to meet new needs. When this is the case, respite care can be an invaluable lifeline for caregivers.

In the early stages of dementia, a caregiver may only have to assist their loved one with activities of daily living such as light housekeeping, meal preparation, medication reminders, and for running errands. However, many family members step into their caregiving role with little to no experience which can make the transition difficult. Taking advantage of hourly in-home care for respite during the early stages of dementia can help a caregiver manage their responsibilities, while making it easier to cope with the changes taking place.

As the disease progresses, associated symptoms will become more complex and require the caregiver to remain with the senior on a full-time basis. This is the best option for seniors with dementia as it helps to prevent wandering and ensures overall safety. While this provides comfort and security for the senior, around the clock care puts an extreme amount of pressure on the caregiver and limits their personal freedom. Seeking respite care for a few hours a week or overnight can help a caregiver rest and relax, avoiding fatigue and feelings of stress, anxiety and even anger. Click here to learn more about how professional caregivers in Denton and Collin counties can provide assistance to seniors and their family caregivers.

When scheduled a regular basis, respite care can also provide caregivers with an emotional refuge. Knowing that for a few hours a day or for several hours a week you can turn your focus on something other than your role as caregiver can be a source of comfort and encouragement on difficult days when your aging loved one forgets cherished memories or familiar faces. Respite is not only used for caregivers to recover physically, but emotionally as well.

If you are caring for an aging parent or loved one with dementia, understand that you are not alone in this journey. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Learn more about our specialty dementia care for seniors in Denton and Collin Counties or contact a Care Manager directly at 972-468-6010 to schedule a complimentary no obligation consultation.