As a caregiver, the scheduling of time for rest, relaxation, and especially leisure often receives lowest priority. Providing for the needs of a loved one can consume so much time that even the completion of regular activities and responsibilities can prove to be difficult.
Caregivers need a break to maintain their own physical and emotional health. Respite services provide temporary comfort, supervision, and care for a loved one, so that the caregiver can put aside all thoughts of providing care and focus on himself or herself, the family, and other important responsibilities.
Although family members, friends, and religious organizations may offer assistance, many services exist within the community and vary in their duration and location. Some services offer relief in the home, others ask for the person in need of care to be brought to a more formal care setting (for example: an adult day care or nursing care facility). Assistance may be provided for a couple of hours or a couple of days.
State-licensed adult day care facilities often provide respite care for caregivers. To locate an adult day care near you, contact your local Area Agency on Aging. The Area Agency on Aging also offers financial assistance for respite care through the Family Caregiver Support Program.