Where to Find Respite Resources
No Respite Unless You Can Rest Assured
When speaking to any organization, describe your needs as specifically as possible. Do you need someone to read to your loved one, mow your lawn, or give you a few hours out of the house? Decide what you need and then ask for it.
seniorDECISION features independent consumer reviews of nursing homes, home health care agencies, assisted living, and retirement communities. The site contains more than 65,000 provider listings nationwide. You can reach them at 877-222-1845, on the web www.seniordecision.com or E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's always advisable to check on the quality of care offered by any organization.
How to Choose a Respite Provider
Some states require licensing for respite providers. If your state does not, it is even more important to do a thorough background and qualifications check, especially if you are dealing with individuals who are not associated with companies or agencies. Most company and agency providers do background and reference checks for their employees, but do not assume –ask. Here is a quick checklist to use when considering a provider:
1. Telephone screening and interview
2. Ask for references
3. Check references, criminal background
4. Personal interview
5. Evaluate costs and financing
6. Write a contract that provides specific details
Remember, there's no set formula or protocol when it comes to respite. It's a caregiver's break that's all yours. It may be a phone call with a friend while your loved one naps. Or it might be a weekend away with your spouse. It could be getting a massage or going to the library. The possibilities are as unique as you and your situation – but whatever you do, don't pass up a chance for a change of pace. You need it – and your loved one needs you to have it.
Reprinted with permission from Agingcare.com. AgingCare.com is a website and online forum for people caring for their aging parents. Caregivers can communicate with each other, get answers from elder care experts and access news, information and products related to caregiving.
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