Respite care

It may be hard to imagine leaving your loved one in someone else's care, but taking a break can be one of the best things you do for yourself — as well as the person you're caring for. Most communities have some type of respite care available, such as:

  • In-home respite. Health care aides come to your home to provide companionship, nursing services or both.
  • Adult care centers and programs. Some centers provide care for both older adults and young children, and the two groups may spend time together.
  • Short-term nursing homes. Some assisted living homes, memory care homes and nursing homes accept people needing care for short stays while caregivers are away.

The caregiver who works outside the home

Nearly 60 percent of caregivers work outside of the home. If you work outside the home and are feeling overwhelmed, consider taking a break from your job.

Employees covered under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act may be able to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave a year to care for relatives. Ask your human resources office about options for unpaid leave.

You aren't alone

If you're like many caregivers, you have a hard time asking for help. Unfortunately, this attitude can lead to feeling isolated, frustrated and even depressed.

Rather than struggling on your own, take advantage of local resources for caregivers. To get started, contact your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) to learn about services in your community. You can find your local AAA online or in the government section of your telephone directory.

March 07, 2015 See more In-depth