As a family caregiver, you might feel that taking a break from your caregiving duty is practically impossible since it frequently entails a 24-hour dedication to your loved one. However, you must schedule brief breaks for yourself because constant fatigue and high stress can have a negative impact on your health and caregiving ability.
According to experts, personalized short breaks can help improve caregivers’ health and well-being and enhance their relationship with the loved one in their care. Contrarily, failing to take breaks can lead to burnout, mental and physical health issues, disturbed sleep, and more.
Some caregivers are reluctant to take a break because they do not know how to find assistance or pay for respite care. Even when caregivers realize they need a break, they might not seek it. Besides, it can be challenging for many people to find the time or resources to set up respite care. If you are one of such caregivers, the following information can help you get a break!
Talk to Family Members
The responsibility of caregiving often falls to one or two family members regardless of how many people are in the family. You can ask other family members to temporarily take care of your loved one while you take a short break. If they are not available for that task, then hiring someone for it is also an option. However, hiring a caregiver can be expensive. Therefore, consider asking them to help you pay for it.
Join a Long-Term Care Insurance Plan
Insurance companies offer varying amounts of coverage. Some would pay providers directly, while others might reimburse families. Check the conditions to understand the amount and available options.
Research Health Insurance and Medicare
Respite care for caregivers is typically not covered by private health insurance, but Medicare may offer some assistance in specific situations. For instance, it provides coverage for a dementia beneficiary who is also getting hospice services (such as a home visit from a nurse once a week) for five days in a hospital or skilled facility at 95% of the Medicare-approved price.
Consider State-Based Care
Many states have home- and community-based Medicaid waiver funds that can help pay for all or part of the cost of respite care for either approved facility or home-based care. The patient’s and not the caregiver’s income, age, and condition determine the need for funds, and adequate funds might not always be available for everyone who qualifies.
Try Reaching Out to Religious Organizations
Most places of worship have donations or charity funds to help the local people in need. To get some help, start with the one you regularly attend. You can reach out to them even if you are not a regular participant. If they don’t have funds, they might know other local organizations that do have. Some faith communities also have volunteers to help caregivers take a break by providing fundamental care to their loved ones.
Join a Patient Organization
Some patient organizations give helpful information and even provide respite care grants to the caregivers. The regional offices of these organizations might be able to provide you with more detailed information or direct you to alternative funding sources.
You can call 211 to get more information about the helpful resources near you. The operators at this state-based resource can provide information on health and human services and direct you to groups (such as United Way, the YWCA or YMCA, and Easter Seals) that may be able to provide some respite care for free or at a reduced cost.
Alzheimer’s Research Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. We provide the latest information and news about the illness and helpful tips to help caregivers cope with their daily caregiving challenges. We realize the most important thing that a caregiver needs is financial assistance. Therefore, we provide grants to caregivers to ease their financial burden. Caregivers can apply for grants here: https://www.alzra.org/grant-applications/.
You can also help caregivers in their endeavor by donating as much as possible: Donations to Alzheimer’s Association.