Do you really know what respite care is and what it can do to help your family? Some people mistake respite care with hospice. When caregivers come to the place your parents live and provide home care while you take a break, that’s respite care.
Families often talk about elderly care plans and when it’s going to be time for home care. Some focus on family caregiving and try to avoid the cost of home care. One thing should never be eliminated from a care plan, and that’s respite care.
Respite care also requires a discussion. There are four items you need to make sure are always available to any family caregiver or home care provider.
The Daily Schedule
It’s very likely that your parents have a preferred routine. Caregivers providing respite care need to know this information. Print out a sheet that details this daily schedule. Include when medications are taken, when your parent likes to eat or have a snack, and when they like to nap, wake up, and go to bed.
Keep a list of emergency contacts handy. The list needs to have the medical power of attorney, the closest family contact, doctors, and close friends who can help. If there is an emergency, you’ll want the caregiver to be able to quickly get the necessary help.
Likes and Dislikes
There are bound to be things that your parents like and dislike. If a caregiver is unaware and offers an item or activity your parent dislikes, it is going to lead to agitation. Make sure the caregiver knows the full list.
If your mom hates mushrooms, make that clear. If your dad is sensitive to loud noises, make sure that is mentioned.
On a medical information sheet, you want to list all medications your mom or dad takes. Add a note about the time it’s given, the dosage given, and any side effects you’ve noticed. Give the code if medications are kept in a locked safe or cabinet.
Offer background information on chronic health conditions and other information that will help. For example, if your mom has Alzheimer’s and experiences sundowning, make sure you note the times of day when agitation is the worst. If there are allergies, list those. Include copies of living wills, if available.
Add the names and phone numbers for doctors your parents see. Visit the doctors to fill out updated HIPAA paperwork that allows all caregivers to discuss medical information with the doctor.
Save this information on a computer. You can send copies to anyone providing respite care. At home, you could print out a copy and have it laminated and put in a secure location for easy access.
A home care agency can set you up with qualified caregivers who specialize in respite care. Call our home care agency to discuss pricing.