Hi Janine44. You may want to consider checking into respite care. Respite care can provide some much needed time off from caregiving – to rest, relax or take care of other responsibilities and still be assured that your loved one is still getting all the attention and care needed. There are a wide variety of respite care services available; designed to give you the time you need- whether it’s just a couple of hours every week, every day, or for an extended amount of time.
Volunteer respite care is accepting help from others- neighbors, friends, or volunteers from area agencies. The volunteer stays with your loved one while you run errands or go to the store. Many communities have caregiver programs where volunteers are matched with caregivers to provide relief. In home respite care can include companion services, homemaking and personal care assistance.
Cost of non- volunteer respite care varies with the type of agency and the services needed, but sometimes federal and/or state programs may help to pay. In addition, long term care insurance policies may cover some of the cost of respite care.
A good place to start is to talk to a social worker at the hospital/clinic/office where your loved one receives care. The social worker likely has experience with local respite care services, and can provide you with guidance on ensuring quality care. Your local American Cancer Society[phone number redacted] or www.cancer.org) may also be able to provide you with names of local respite services/voluntary organizations.
Taking Care of YOU: Self Care for Family Caregivers from The Family Caregivers Alliance has some great tips and strategies that you may find helpful. To read visit: www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp?nodeid=847
Hope this information is helpful.
Becky RN OCN