If you are the sole caregiver of an aging parent or medically fragile loved one, summer vacation is often stressful. We’re reaching the finish line and heading into summer here in Central Florida, and many local kids finish school this week. They’ll be ready to jump into vacation mode, but as a parent and as a caregiver for an elderly individual, you have to balance a new schedule full of activities, busy children, your own work or household tasks, and traveling. How can you do it all?
Some families choose to have a friend or family member care for their loved one while they’re away, but what if that isn’t an option for you? In that case, respite care is likely the best option for you.
What is respite care?
Respite care refers to the care given to an individual when their primary caregiver needs to take time away. This could be for the caregiver’s own physical/mental needs, for appointments, for maintaining the home (like grocery shopping and other errands), for work, and even for vacation. Some common forms of respite care include:
- professional in-home nurses or caregivers
- some nursing and assisted living facilities
- adult day care facilities
- local adult caregivers (hired by you, not from a licensed agency.)
While each of these options comes with its own list of pros and cons, a key element between all of them is this: a poor choice could place your loved one in harm’s way. Abuse and neglect are a risk of respite care.
Do you know the signs of abuse or neglect?
Common red flags include:
- excessive bruising, abrasions, or other unexplained (and out of place) injuries
- fear, anger, or other emotions/responses upon a caregiver’s arrival (that are out of the norm for your loved one)
- lack of basic care (your loved one hasn’t been properly bathed/dressed, wasn’t fed well, etc.)
This sounds scary if you’re looking at your summer schedule and realize you’ll need respite care at several points in the weeks ahead.
How do you find quality respite care?
The best place to start is in your own trusted circle. Perhaps you have a friend who would be willing to provide care while you’re away for a few days. If personal connections are not an option for you though, a few well-known sources are the ARCH National Respite Network and the Eldercare Locator. These are fantastic search options that help you connect with adult care services in your own community.
Brooks Law Group is a huge advocate of quality elder care in our community, and we admire you for stepping up and being the caregiver and advocate your loved one needs. As Tampa Bay’s trusted team of elder care and elder abuse lawyers, we’re here for you if you suspect any form of abuse or neglect following your loved one’s time under respite care. We provide free consultations for individuals and families, and we fight for the compensation and justice your loved one deserves. If you don’t know where to turn, Look to Brooks.