Respite care benefits the entire family not just the caregiver. When there are multiple family members and one of them requires care giving skills it is often a family member who becomes the caregiver. That caregiver spends a good deal of time and effort caring for this individual that takes away time from other family members.
Spouses can feel neglected; kids can feel abandoned by the parent doing the care giving. Respite services caters to all of the family members by giving back the caregiver to these other family members so that time can be spent with them while at the same time giving care to the individual in need of nursing, or companionship due to illness, frailty, or disability.
What Family Needs Respite Care
Not all families are in need of respite care because some are lucky enough to have many people who can provide care giving the primary caregiver a much-needed break. Respite care is for those families who lack alternative care sources within the family unit.
Families may have different respite care needs and it is essential that the needs be matched properly to a respite care service. Some communities will even go so far as to develop respite services to fit needs that are not already being addressed by other respite care programs currently.
Whole Family Care
The respite care services should be addressed to each member of the family in order to really serve the needs properly. The first step is to address what needs each family member has. The second step is to match those needs with existing services within the community or if the service does not exist to develop that respite service.
When respite services are necessary for a child with special needs, emotional or mental or physical disabilities it is important to understand that children change as they grow so there needs to be an ongoing needs assessment.
Respite care is often more than a break it becomes an essential tool that is used to keep a child or adult in a family situation and out of institutionalized care.
Families with children with special needs have many respite care types to choose from including day care facilities, after-school care, support groups, and voluntary situations.
Adults who are disabled or ill also have many options for respite care including residential homes, nursing homes, group homes, community services for shopping and meals, and out-of-home respite care services.