Respite Care Gives Caregivers a Needed Recharge

By Sophia Kroon

Providing 24-hour care to a loved one is a difficult job, and caregivers are often so focused on taking care of their family member that they don’t take time out for themselves. November is National Family Caregiver Month, which is a good time to remind family caregivers that they need an occasional break. Kindred provides short-term respite for caregivers who need a few days, or even a few weeks, off. “Patients who are brought to our facilities for respite care are given a private or semi-private room in our rehab suite,” says Zachary Ballard, Admissions Coordinator for Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation -Bashford. “We provide nursing care, along with comfort and support, to the patient until he or she is able to transfer back to the home environment.”

While at Kindred, respite care patients are offered a variety of activities from which they can choose. “We have board games, bingo, church services, and popcorn and movie nights,” says Ballard. “We also offer a coffee chat in the mornings where someone reads the newspaper out loud, and if the weather is nice, a daily community walk. For patients who are unable to leave their rooms, we have people who will go in and read to them and offer one-on-one interaction. We also offer books on tape, and there are televisions in each room.”

Respite care gives caregivers the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their family member is receiving around-the-clock care by a dedicated staff of medical professionals. And research has shown that taking advantage of respite care can have a positive effect on the health of the caregiver. “Respite allows family members to rest and rejuvenate,” Ballard says. “It helps give them the mental and the physical stamina to go back and provide that 24-hour care in their own homes."