If you’re a caregiver for a loved one and feel like the work is becoming overwhelming, you can take a break with respite care. Respite care offers individuals time away from their role as a caregiver for short-term periods of time; whether it’s for a vacation, surgery, or a mental break. There are various types of respite care offered to caregivers, including at-home care, short stays in a long-term care home, and adult day programs. Let’s take a closer look at each of these 3 types of respite care.
Respite Care at Home
Respite care can be offered at home, with funding provided directly by the Ontario government. Home care includes personal support (e.g. oral care, bathing, dressing, assistance with medications, mobility), home support (e.g. cleaning, laundry, preparing meals), as well as other professional help (e.g. nursing, physiotherapy).
Your Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) will perform an assessment to determine whether you’re eligible for respite home care. If you need additional services, the LHIN can also refer you to other respite options in your community.
If you do qualify for respite care at home, all costs are fully covered by the LHIN. However, if you don’t qualify for publicly-funded care, you always have the option of paying home care organizations directly for private services. If you feel like you need assistance in caring for a loved one, or just feel like you need some time to step away from your role as caregiver, contact us to learn how we can help.
Short Stay in a Long-term Care Home
Another option to consider is having your loved one stay in a long-term care facility for up to 60 days. All personal support and nursing care is provided, however accommodations (e.g. room and board) will have to be paid for. In order to qualify for this type of respite care for your loved one, you as the caregiver must:
- need to be away for more than one day (e.g. a vacation), or
- need to be in the hospital, or
- be experiencing a health issue that prevents you from providing care
Adult Day Programs
If it’s just a few days off that you need, adult day programs are also a great option for respite care. These programs offer structured and supervised activities in a group setting. To qualify, the person you care for must receive a referral (provided by the LHIN Care Coordinator) for all LHIN-run adult day programs. For most programs, an attendance fee will have to be paid for each day your loved one attends the program; this is to cover the costs of meals, snacks, and outing activities.
In order for your loved one to participate in adult day programs, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- connect with a LHIN representative
- go over the qualifications to ensure you’re eligible for respite care
- arrange any necessary assessments
- complete the necessary applications (e.g. for a long-term care facility if needed)
- schedule the services once you are approved for respite care
Caring for a loved one can be a major responsibility, and can be taxing both mentally, and financially. Fortunately, the Government of Canada provides help to caregivers through the newly introduced caregiver tax credit. While considering the different care options for your loved one, remember that it’s important to care for yourself as well.