Caregiving Family Caregivers Can Take a Break With Respite Care
Respite Care Services are critical to supporting in-home family caregivers
A new study from AARP Policy Institute found that in 2021, about 38 million family caregivers in the United States provided an estimated 36 billion hours of care to adults who need assistance with daily activities. While family caregivers often feel positive feelings of helping loved ones, the study says being a family caregiver can cause emotional, physical and family hardships.
“Family caregivers provide needed day-to-day supports and services and manage complex care tasks for adults with chronic, disabling or serious health conditions,” the study said. “The COVID-19 pandemic. . . heightened awareness of the need for comprehensive solutions in policy and practice to build supports targeting the family caregiver. Family caregivers and their care recipients lost access to paid care supports due to program closures and staff shortages, experienced isolation and loneliness while avoiding social interaction, juggled completing demands of working and schooling at home, and struggled with economic losses in income, housing and food security.”
HouseWorks, one of the nation’s largest private in-home care agencies, suggests family caregivers find a trusted in-home care provider to give them a break from their demanding role. Care can be arranged for as little as a few hours a day to a couple of days a week on an as-needed basis or on a schedule. HouseWorks carefully matches Caregivers to clients’ interests and needs to ensure a good fit.
“Respite caregivers can assist with meal preparation, transportation, light housekeeping, and similar responsibilities while also providing companionship to your loved one,” said Mike Trigilio, Chief Executive Officer of HouseWorks. “Allowing a Caregiver to take some of the family caregiving responsibilities off your plate lets you rest, restores your strength, and gives you the energy to continue.”
The strain on family caregivers shows no signs of waning. According to the AARP study, “the US Census Bureau projects that by the year 2034, adults ages 65 and older will outnumber children under the age of 18 for the first time in American history. Given that trend, the share of potential caregivers is projected to continue shrinking relative to the number of older adults potentially at risk for needing long-term care in the United States.”
A national survey found that income-related losses sustained by family caregivers age 50 and older who leave the workforce to care for a parent are $303,880, on average, in lost income and benefits over a caregiver’s lifetime.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, Trigilio said “Respite Care is important for mental health. Caregiver burnout is real and can even affect those caring for a parent whom they love. Do not feel guilty if you determine you need help; this help will allow you to take the necessary time for yourself and keep your relationship with your loved one strong.”
For more information about respite care services at HouseWorks, call 617-928-1010 or visit https://www.house-works.com/.