This article was authored in partnership with wikiHow, the world’s largest “how to” site, and also featured here on the wikiHow website.
Caregiving is an extremely rewarding experience, but it can cause stress, burn-out, fatigue, and health problems for the caregiver. There are several ways that you can manage the recipient’s needs without overburdening yourself. As you do so, you should look into respite care. This service provides temporary care and supervision when you need to work or take a break.
Ask family for help.
If you are caring for a loved one, you should not have to shoulder the burden alone. Ask other family members if they would be willing to assist you in caregiving duties. Perhaps one family member can sit with them during the day and another can take them to their appointments.
You might send out an email to your family that says, “As Mom becomes more and more dependent on us, I was wondering if we could all have a frank discussion about how best to care for her. While I am her primary caregiver, it is very difficult for me to do everything on my own. I was wondering if we could arrange a schedule for us all to help care for her.”
Older children can help out with caregiving duties. Consider what type of care the recipient needs, and decide if your children would be able to help them. They may be able to feed them lunch or help them stand up from a chair.
Take the care recipient to adult day care.
If you are taking care of an adult, you can take them to an adult day care while you work. They can help feed and give medication to the recipient on time. They will also provide social interaction and activities for them.
Hire in-home caregivers.
Certain healthcare organizations and hospice care providers offer visiting nurses and doctors. You can hire these caretakers to visit your house and help the care recipient dress, eat, bathe, and exercise.
If you cannot afford to hire nurses to come to your house, you may be able to afford a cleaning service that can help you manage your other household tasks while you care for the recipient.
Contact your local assisted living facility or skilled nursing facility.
Many of these types of facilities offer respite care for families. Call to find out what they offer and ask if you can visit the facility for a tour. However, keep in mind that this type of care may be expensive depending on the type of facility.
Find a friend for the care recipient.
Even if you cannot find or afford extra care for the recipient, you may be able to find someone who will sit and socialize with them for a little bit each day. Consider whether or not the care recipient may enjoy this company. You can ask one of their friends to visit, or you can ask your own family and friends to see if someone would be willing to come over.
Look for financial help.
Respite care can be expensive. While some non-profits offer these services at reduced cost, you may have difficulty locating one in your area. Try to find different forms of financial assistance to help you afford this care. Depending on the recipient’s condition and age, they may qualify for assistance from:
- Social Security.
- Medicaid waivers.
- Veteran’s benefits.
- State agencies.
- Non-profit grants.