Engaging family members in respite care

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In the helpguide.org article, Respite Care: Finding and Choosing Respite Services, it is discussed how important it is to involve family members as supporters of the main caregiver of dementia patients:

Engaging family members in respite care
Family members and friends may be able to help out while you run an errand, take a break, or even go on vacation. However, just as the burden of caregiving is often more than one person can handle, it can also be a tough process for families to share.

Even the healthiest families can be severely stressed by ongoing care, and the division of labor is frequently lopsided. You can encourage support and participation by:

Talking openly and regularly. Keep everyone up to date on your loved one’s needs and condition. Family members who don’t share the day-to-day caretaking experience may not fully appreciate the situation.
Encouraging family members to evaluate what they can reasonably and honestly do.Changing roles and varying resource levels can impact family involvement. Welcome different viewpoints, accept limitations, and be willing to try alternate strategies. Share your list of needs and take advantage of all offers to help.
Recognizing your own feelings and discussing disproportionate tasks. Harboring resentment when you need more help can lead to your burnout and impaired health. Ask directly for concrete support and specific time commitments. Consider establishing an online calendar to organize relief and reconfirm schedules.
Using technology to bridge distances. Try free video conferencing services to hold family meetings at times that work for everyone. Create a web-based community to share updates and explore options.
Exploring a family respite cooperative. Consider trading respite services with other caregivers and their families. Pooling resources with others in the same situation can encourage greater involvement, reduce costs, and increase flexibility.
Participating in support groups. Learning how other families cope can suggest new options and provide reassurance. When siblings are unable or unwilling to share the load, peer support can be invaluable.

Joke Of The Day For Dementia Patient Caregivers

“Question: How many Alzheimer’s patients does it take to change a light bulb?

Answer: To get to the other side!”

Joke quoted from www.caring.com
Photo courtesy of www.apalinc.com

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