Hello friends and families. Respite care is a valuable and vital service offered by Synergy HomeCare that offers family caregivers a much-needed break from their daily responsibilities. Respite care is essential in any well-rounded care plan. It enables the caregiver time and space to step away and refocus on their own lives for just a few hours or for a day or two each week. A recent national study of nearly 900 caregivers, conducted by the University of Utah, found that having respite time was their most desired and needed service. A similar study in Michigan identified respite as the single most needed service for family caregivers.
I have the privilege of speaking with caregivers on a regular basis. In addition to conveying their joys and triumphs, I also hear comments like, "If only I could get a few moments of alone time, it would help me be more patient," "I wish our family could take a short vacation like we did before," or "I would like to return to work, at least part-time." I understand and empathize with their frustrations. At the same time I hope they listen to the many other individuals and families for whom Synergy HomeCare has made a real difference through our services like respite care, training and counseling.
I firmly believe in the importance for family caregivers to feel the rewards and personal fulfillment of caregiving; but it is also important to understand its challenges and plan for its realities. For example, with improved treatment, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, the average person lives between 8 and 20 years and this expectancy is predicted to increase. The result is an enormous responsibility and commitment from family caregivers. They need access to education, emotional and social support. When respite becomes an integrated part of a well-planned care strategy, family caregivers have the help and strength they need to remain happy, healthy and positive.
Synergy HomeCare is designed to be a reliable resource for family caregivers. Implementing frequent and well planned respite care is the right way to create a stable and a manageable schedule for both the family caregiver and the person in their care. One of the best pieces of advice that comes from our experience at Synergy HomeCare is to use respite care early on in your care program to avoid burn out and unhealthy stress. Your personal "break" time will work much better for you when you plan it carefully. One way to accomplish this is by writing a "to-do" and "want-to-do" list for your days off. This way you will complete what is necessary, and still have free time to devote entirely to friends, family, or maybe just relaxing. One last word of advice, respite care should be just one element of a care plan that includes a range of other services and assistance. Respite care, sometimes called family support, is one the many service advantages we offer at Synergy HomeCare.
Founder and CEO Synergy HomeCare
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Taking a break from caregiving, even a short one, is necessary to maintain friendships, social activities, health and overall balance in one's life. Once a healthy lifestyle and relationships are lost, they can be difficult to regain. Respite care is a valuable option for caregivers, and is often needed long before they admit. Sometimes stress can stay high even with respite care if a family waits too long to get help. Everyone has limitations, everyone needs a break sometimes. Learn more about respite care and elder care management through these informative articles.
Respite care provides you a temporary break from your daily caregiving responsibilities strengthening your ability to continue taking care of your loved one without burning out.
An informative brochure that encourages family caregivers to consider using respite services and offers suggestions about ways to make their respite time most effective.
The ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center offers a downloadable PDF fact sheet with information about respite care for Alzheimer's patients and their families.
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Congratulations to all of the Synergy HomeCare locations that opened in July, 2010.
The following office has moved to a new location:
Respite Care, A Healthy Choice for Caregivers
As a provider of non-medical caregiver services, we receive many calls from family caregivers or relatives in need of a "break" from caregiving responsibilities, or respite. Often, the caller shares with us that they feel guilty about requesting outside services, feel that they are letting their loved one down, or feel that they are being selfish. Our first response to this is that it is normal to feel this way, and rest assured, you are not alone. Taking time for you is of utmost importance!