Caregivers may require a period of respite on occasion. Respite provides informal caregivers - usually family member or friends - a break from their daily responsibilities. Respite can cover a wide range of services based upon the unique needs of the caregiver.
•A short-term stay in a hospice approved nursing facility for the patient allowing the family member private time to recover from providing care.
•During respite time the hospice agency will continue to provide all the services the patient is receiving while in their own private residence.
The enactment of the Older Americans Act Amendments of 2000 (Public Law 106-501) established the National Family Caregiver Support Program. Funding for this program allows states to work in partnership with area agencies on aging and local and community service providers to provide systems of support for family caregivers. A specific component of these systems is respite.
For the caregiver, personal respite varies as much as the individual and could be, for example:
•Giving the caregiver a short break for a doctor’s appointment or to go shopping
•Allowing the caregiver the opportunity to nap, bathe, or otherwise rejuvenate
•A break to attend a church service or see a movie
•Taking a much-needed vacation
•Pampering oneself with a hair appointment or manicure
•Simply visiting friends or other family members
However you choose to take a break, make sure you do it often enough to maintain a healthy balance between caregiving and your personal needs.