A recent AARP study shows that 53 million Americans provide care for an adult (or child) with special needs. This is an increase of roughly ten million over the last five years.

Providing this care can be a full-time job, not to mention emotionally draining. It’s certainly not a one-person job and, depending on the severity of needs, can put a strain on family life. Fortunately, there is a vast network of professional caregivers who your family can lean on.

We’re here to help you understand that network of support. Through this article, we’ll look at when to use respite care for your loved one and where to find the best assisted living community in Anchorage, Alaska.

What Is Respite Care?

Think of respite care as a tool. One that can help you, and your family, find the time to step away from your in-home caregiver duties to care for yourselves.

This care can take many forms, but in essence, it provides the caregiver(s) a brief break. A respite, if you will. These breaks are absolutely vital to the health and wellbeing of the caregiver.

Managing assisted living at home requires you to juggle many tasks, some of which are incredibly stressful. The additional support and help of a respite care worker can help you keep a positive attitude and tend to your own needs.

Respite care services can give you a break for a few days to a few months to indefinitely if you opt for residential senior living in Alaska. It can help give you the space you need to clarify the best options for senior living for your loved one.

When Should I Use Respite Care?

It can be difficult to relinquish the care of a loved one to someone else. Even temporarily. There may be feelings of guilt for wanting some time alone or the fear that something will happen and you won’t be there.

Everyone playing a caregiver role will need a break at some point. Caregiver burnout is a real condition, a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. In addition,  you may notice mood changes, from positive to pessimistic.

Ask yourself the following questions to see where you’re at.

  1. Are you feeling emotionally and physically drained regularly?
  2. Are you concerned that there is no one you can trust to take care of your loved one if there is an emergency?
  3. Are you agitated by things that never used to bother you?
  4. Are you neglecting your own needs? Either due to lack of time or just a lack of desire?
  5. Do you feel resentment toward other family members who could help you but don’t?
  6. Are you unable to have a social life?
  7. Have your eating habits changed?
  8. Are you feeling helpless more often than not?
  9. Have you picked up any risky habits, like smoking, drinking, or gambling?
  10. Are you afraid of death? Yours or your loved ones?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, don’t worry, you are not alone. The symptoms of caregiver burnout are quite similar to those of depression. The two can often go hand in hand.

The good news is, caregiving is not something you have to shoulder alone. If you resonate with any of the above, it just means that it may be time to use respite care.

How Much Respite Care Will I Need?

Every family situation is unique. Finding the right balance of in-home care, respite care, and assisted senior living for your family will take patience, persistence, and preparation.

You will want first to identify what your needs are. Has the work of caregiving become too much for your family to where you need a senior living facility? Or do you simply need a few hours to yourself now and then?

Planning for your relief will require some time. You’ll want to determine what will be the most beneficial for you and your loved one. Sitting down and being honest about where you’re at is the first step.

Identify what you want to do; a date night with your spouse, a weekend getaway for the whole family, running errands. Then figure out how often and how long you will do these things. From there, you can get an estimate of how many hours you need additional coverage.

What Are My Respite Care Options?

There are many options available for senior living in Alaska. Ultimately, the best respite care services will be the ones that are the best fit for your family.

In-Home Respite Care: When you use in-home respite care, a licensed caregiver comes into your home on a pre-set schedule. With this option, your loved one can remain in a familiar environment, and you can slip away to do whatever you need to do.

Adult Daycare: Many places offer daycare options for respite care. Your loved one can get out of the house, socialize with others, and have fresh new experiences. Many people find that this change of pace and scenery helps both them and their loved ones immensely.

On-Site Respite Care: If you need more than a few hours of relief, on-site respite care may be a great option. At Baxter Senior Living, your loved one can spend a few days to a few months at our state-of-the-art assisted living facility in Anchorage. Rest easy knowing your loved one is in the most caring, skilled hands, with access to a wide variety of programming.

Your Loved Ones Deserve The Best Respite Care Services

Deciding to use respite care is a big decision. That’s why the whole team at Baxter Senior Living is here for you. We want to help make the process a little easier.

Our highly-trained professionals are here to support your family every step of the way, no matter what level of care your loved one needs. Reach out today to schedule an in-person tour of our facilities or chat with a specialist about your options.

Caregiving is a big and important job. We look forward to the opportunity to help make the job easier for you by providing world-class care for your loved ones.