What Is Respite Care? When Do You Know You Need It? 


Wake up – give give give –  sleep – repeat. This is a typical caregiver routine. 

Here, the give give give covers all the daily activities in the caregiver’s routine for their recipient, like bathing, grooming, dressing, food preparation and feeding, mobility assistance, doctor appointments, shopping, housekeeping, and the list goes on…


Though rewarding in its own profound ways, caregiving is a physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing responsibility. Amidst all the caregiving responsibilities, caregivers often forget that they are humans and need a break too. Sometimes, they fall prey to caregiver burnout

Fortunately, respite care offers a much-needed break from this to caregivers.

What is respite care? 

Respite care is a viable tool that you can use when you need a short break to replenish your system. Whether you want to take off for a few hours, days, or weeks, respite care takes the responsibility of taking care of your loved one in your absence. 

The biggest advantage about respite care is that it benefits both factions. While you get a chance to have a breather, your loved one gets a change of scene, environment, and care. At special daycare and residential centers, they get to meet new people and indulge in new activities that take the edge off their loneliness, anxiety, stress, depression, isolation, and whatever else that may be looming in their mind. Moreover, they receive care from professionals. This short-term break helps in improving their physical and emotional health and well-being. 

Various respite care options include short-term residential resources, adult day health, in-home care, rehab, skilled nursing services, memory services, and companionship services. 

But, when do you know you need respite care? Let’s find out. 


  • You feel tired round the clock 


Your back constantly aches, you feel fatigued most of the time, dark circles have found a permanent address around your eyes -what other signs do you need? 

Feeling tired constantly is the biggest warning sign that your own body is no more capable of taking care of another person.

  • You experience mood swings 

One moment you are fine and the other moment you are snapping at someone -if the threshold of your patience is washing away, it’s high time you call for professional support. 

  • You are always anxious and depressed

Constantly taking care of someone, helping them with their regular chores, and running errands for them can be very frustrating. Moreover, not seeing any improvement in their health condition can dishearten you to the core, and eventually, you may start feeling anxious and depressed. 

This pent up frustration can hamper your mental and emotional well being in the long run.

  • Your sleep schedule is very irregular

Caregiving is a day-and-night duty. Moreover, if you are trying to juggle it with other work, your life becomes a steaming pot of chaos, so much so that you don’t even get proper sleep. And, sleep deprivation can take a toll on every aspect of your life. It can hamper your physical health, regular energy level, and mental well-being. Also, lack of sleep can make you vulnerable to slip-ups, as well as accidents. 

Hence, if you are experiencing irregular sleep patterns, take some days off your duty, and let respite care take care of your loved one.

  • You are ill or recently injured yourself 

If you have recently fallen ill or injured yourself, give due time to your body to recover completely. Ignoring your health during sickness can make way for serious health issues. In such circumstances, you should make arrangements for another professional to step in while you take some rest. 

  • Your other relationships are suffering 

You surely share a great relationship with your loved one, but your relationship with others are equally important and require nurturing. If your relationship with your spouse, children, or friends is suffering, it’s time for you to approach an additional helping hand and spend some time with other important people in your life. 

Final words

Typically, nine out of ten caregivers shut their eyes to their personal needs while taking care of their loved ones. It’s important to understand that by being a family caregiver, you already sacrifice a lot. If you see these red flags, take a break, recharge your batteries, and bounce back to your responsibilities with replenished energy and enthusiasm. 

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What Is Respite Care? When Do You Know You Need It? 
Wake up – give give give –  sleep – repeat. This is a typical caregiver routine. 
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