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What is Respite Care

Respite is defined as an interval of rest and relief. Respite care provides a break for family caregivers, offering them time away from their caregiving responsibilities. Using respite care can relieve stress for the caregiver, helping the caregiver deal better with stress, depression, and even physical injuries. Respite care can take place in the home, using professional caregivers (often from an agency), or it can be provided at another site, such as at an adult daycare center or nursing home. It can be overnight or a few hours a week, depending on the need.

A caregiver can be a spouse, daughter, son, close friend, or other relative. Caregiving can evolve slowly over a period of time through the duration of a long term illness, or suddenly from an accident or sudden illness such as a stroke. Whatever the situation, caregiving responsibilities usually fall on one person who becomes the designated caregiver. As a caregiver you are making a personal sacrifice to care for another, whether out of love and/or a sense of obligation.

Putting your life on hold as you take on caregiving responsibilities can create stress in your life, indicating that you may need a break for a period of time or several breaks on an ongoing basis. Statistics show that such Caregivers often wear out physically and emotionally, becoming sicker than the person for whom they are caring.

The following are signs of stress and burnout in Caregivers, indicating a need for respite care:

  • Extreme fatigue or "worn out" feeling
  • Irritation and impatience
  • Anger and resentfulness Depression
  • Feeling "trapped"
  • Isolation and lack of socialization
  • Problems with concentration and memory
  • Loss of energy Lack of interest in people or things
  • Increased health problems

The Woodward Respite Care Fund recognizes the need for respite care for caregivers to enable them to have a break and time for themselves. Through a simple application process, financial help is offered to help a caregiver with the costs of temporary respite care.



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