Respite Care

Respite Care


When loved ones fall ill, there must be a desire to care for them. Especially if they suffer from chronic or serious illness that make it difficult for them to live their daily lives independently. But caring for the sick can be a drain on energy, time, and mentality. If you want to take a break, the answer is respite care.

What Is Respite Care?

Respite care is a short-term care provided by a substitute caregiver when the primary caregiver has to take a break from her/his duties. For people who take care of a sick person on a daily basis, a short break is very important for their physical and mental health. The reason is people tend to overlook their own health when they focus on providing care to their loved ones.

This break is also very important to their nursing duties because when they feel exhausted and their health deteriorates, it can be difficult for them to provide optimal care. On the other hand, patients receiving treatment may also benefit from respite care as the quality of care will be preserved. In addition, patients can interact with people other than the primary caregiver to keep them from getting weary. The duration of respite care varies from a few hours to days or months. It depends on the needs of the main caregiver, who must inform the substitute caregiver.

The main purpose of respite care is to give the primary caregiver a break to focus on him/herself, including his/her personal responsibilities that may have been somewhat neglected when he/she had previously focused on caring for the loved ones. Respite care may also be a solution when the primary caregiver is unable to carry on his/her duties for certain reasons, such as getting ill or others.

A substitute caregiver has the same responsibilities and functions as a primary caregiver and can be tailored to different patient needs. Among other things, the caregiver will accompany the patients, help with their daily activities, provide essential medical care, do household chores, arrange transportation, prepare food, and help patients eat if they have difficulties.

Is Homecare Different from Respite Care?

The main difference between respite care and homecare is the location where the service is provided. Homecare is provided by trained and professional caregivers in the patient’s house. Respite care is delivered by a substitute caregiver that doesn’t always have to take place in the patient’s home. Respite care can also be provided in special care facilities, hospitals, or nursing homes.

Homecare can be provided by either primary or substitute caregivers. The caregivers in this service are the licensed ones who work independently or with a caregiver agency. Meanwhile respite care can be provided by any caregiver who is not necessarily licensed. For example, the primary caregiver is the patient’s family, while the substitute is a trained medical professional.

However, it is also possible that the primary caregiver is a licensed caregiver from an agency. Or it may be that both the primary caregiver and the substitute are medical laypersons.

What Conditions Require Respite Care?

Respite care is necessary when the primary caregiver is unable to perform her/his duties for some time for any reason. Respite care is available for patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly. In this case, the patient needs respite care because he/she cannot be left without a caregiver due to his/her condition. For example:

  • Advanced cancer
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Brain damage
  • Stroke
  • Visual impairment
  • Disability

The things that make caregivers need a substitute include needing a short break, getting sick, going on vacation, handling main work, exercising, shopping, and so on.

What Are the Requirements for Proper Respite Care?

Respite care can indeed be provided by ordinary people, such as family members, acquaintances, or neighbors. However, such care is usually available to patients who don’t have a serious medical condition and only need simple care and assistance.

Meanwhile, for patients with chronic or severe illnesses that make it difficult to do many things, it is better if the substitute is a professional caregiver who is trained to treat patients with the illness. Especially if the replaced primary caregiver is also a licensed caregiver.

If you use a licensed caregiver from a professional healthcare agency, that agency will perform several formal screening procedures. For instance, the agency will thoroughly assess the patient’s condition to determine what special skills are required of the caregiver who will treat the patient. This suitability is important to ensure the patient receives the care he/she needs.

How to Do Proper Respiratory Care at Home

To do respite care at home, first of all, you have to determine the duration of care service, whether the primary caregiver needs a replacement for only a few hours, days, or longer. If it takes more than a day, decide whether the substitute will stay with the patient at home or visit for a certain amount of time.

It is also important to do a background check on the substitute caregiver, especially if you are using a freelance caregiver. Meanwhile the skills and expertise of caregivers from nursing agencies are usually guaranteed by the agencies.

The primary caregiver must also maintain open access to communication with the substitute caregiver. Therefore, the substitute can communicate about anything and anytime related to the patient’s condition. Especially when there is an emergency situation that the main caregiver needs to be aware of.

For doctor visit, doctor tele-consultations and home nursing services, please contact Kavacare Support.

Reviewed by:
Ditinjau oleh:

Dr. Eddy Wiria, PhD

Co-Founder & CEO Kavacare