Caregiver Respite

When you're a family caregiver working with a Life Care Planning Law Firm, every aspect of caring for your elderly love one is easier. Especially taking breaks.

April—Stress Awareness Month—is a great time to reflect on the challenges faced by people managing the care of elderly loved ones on top of jobs, homes, families, and careers. Though caregiving can be immensely rewarding, it can also be a difficult juggling act that can lead to exhaustion, resentment, depression, burnout, and even chronic illness. How can these negative effects be avoided?

That’s where respite care comes in.

Respite care makes it possible for the primary caregiver of an elderly or disabled individual to take a break from caregiving responsibilities. Many caregivers overlook or minimize the importance of respite care, citing guilt or worry as compelling reasons not to step away. Those who long for a day off often don’t know how to make it happen.

Family caregivers working with the support of Life Care Planning Law Firms are at a distinct advantage when it comes to planning for, locating, and following through with respite care. “We know how important it is for family caregivers to be able to step away from their caregiving responsibilities, even for a few hours,” said Aaron Millman, Esq., CPA, an elder law attorney who manages the Life Care Planning arm of Redgrave & Rosenthal LLP, an elder law and estate planning firm in Boca Raton, Florida. “Every Life Care Plan we create for families serves as their guide through the long-term care maze and it addresses caregiver respite.”

In addition to elder law services such as wills, powers of attorney, trusts, asset preservation, public benefits qualification, and identifying strategies to pay for care, Life Care Plans typically include the services of an elder care coordinator who supports the family during the long-term care journey. “I’m there for my clients in every way,” said Judi Schneider, one of the elder care coordinators at Redgrave & Rosenthal LLP. “We’re very proactive when it comes to respite care. We need to be because most caregivers don’t realize that it’s even an option.”

An elder care coordinator’s guidance is invaluable when it comes to developing a customized respite plan that assures elderly, disabled or chronically ill loved ones get the care they need in a way that preserves the mental, physical, and emotional health of family caregivers. The planning process typically includes assessing the needs of elders and their caregivers, identifying community resources, and calling a family meeting to recruit support from members of the extended family. “I make sure that my clients have a concrete plan in place and are prepared for sometimes uncomfortable discussions with family members,” said Judi, whose previous experience in healthcare and case management is an asset as she helps clients craft their caregiver respite plans. “Sometimes I’ll even facilitate family meetings. Our clients appreciate that so much.”

For many families, the ultimate benefit of a Life Care Plan is knowing that they don’t have to make any decision alone. “So many things can happen during the long-term care journey and there’s comfort in knowing that you can call someone for help no matter what the situation,” noted Aaron. “Today, we received an email from a family caregiver whose mom is in memory care. The facility had just informed him that his mom needed to be moved into a nursing home. He called us and we’re making things easier for him.”
Caregiver respite isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. The professionals at Life Care Planning Law Firms take it seriously. So should you.