1st Week Blog Post: What is Respite Care?

Welcome to the Idaho Caregiver Alliance’s (ICA) new website! My name is Ryan Hoffman and I will be updating this blog periodically. I am new to ICA and look forward to using my background in media communication to further the goals of the organization. Check back from time to time for information on resources, local events, and other related topics.

For the first post of the new ICA website, I thought I would briefly discuss respite; what it means; what it looks like from day-to-day; and how you can help.

What does respite mean?

Respite is a break from care giving. Respite is time away, if only for a few hours, to recharge your own batteries. Respite can be a walk in the park, lunch with a friend, or simply reading a book in another room without fear that you’ll be interrupted.” 

If you take a look at the “Caregiver Resources” drop-down menu at the top of the page, you will see a link to “What Is Respite?“, http://idahocaregiveralliance.com/index.php/foo/.   This link provides information about who is eligible for respite funding (the answer is more people than you might think, perhaps you!) and what information the ICA can provide in regards to emotional and financial assistance.

What does respite look like from day-to-day?

Remember the old Cameron Crowe movie Jerry Maguire, with the immortal line spoken by Tom Cruise’s character to one of his clients, “help me help you”? That’s essentially what respite is, helping the helpers.

Assisting with transportation, cleaning, or simply providing a break allows the family caregiver to recharge.  Respite provides a much-needed break from the work that defines care giving.

How can you help?

If you’re unsure whether you fit the definition of a caregiver, the following questions might be helpful for you to answer:

Do you:

• Make phone calls to check in on a loved one?
• Drive a family member or friend to doctor’s appointments?
• Help someone manage their medications?
• Help someone with household chores or making meals?
• Help someone make healthcare decisions?

If so, congratulations, you’re a caregiver!

The ARCH National Respite Network (https://archrespite.org/) features links to Idaho respite providers and programs. Your wider community can also provide for caregivers’ well-being by consulting this list of Idaho state & regional support groups:

Remember, it’s never a bad thing to ask for help, and that’s what the Idaho Caregiver Alliance’s mission is all about:

The mission of the Caregiver Alliance is to improve access to respite and connect caregivers with information and resources.”

Please email me at info@idahocaregiveralliance.com if you have suggestions for future topics or questions.

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