What is Home Respite Care?

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  • Written By: Sara Schmidt
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 03 January 2020
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People who are functionally impaired often need assistance with their daily activities. Though they may be able to breathe on their own and do not require a hospital stay, these people may need help with general household tasks or personal care. Such care provided in a person's home is known as home respite care.

Tasks that respite care workers help with often include household chores, such as doing laundry, dishes, or other cleaning. Some patients require help with personal care, such as bathing, grooming, and getting dressed. A home health aide may also help plan and prepare meals and administer medication.

Respite care is also known as caregiver relief, as it can provide the impaired person's caregiver with needed time away from the patient. The person's regular caregiver, usually a relative, may need to travel, work, or perform other activities that will not allow him or her to supervise or care for the handicapped person for a short period of time. Home respite care allows caregivers to keep their loved ones safe while attending to other duties.


Home respite care is usually a temporary solution. Sometimes an elderly person will be provided with home respite care while arrangements are being made for a more permanent solution, such as elder care in a nursing center. However, many functionally impaired adults who can fulfill some of their own needs may have permanent, part-time home respite care to assist with tasks that they may not be able to perform on their own.

Though the elderly are often most in need of respite care, many other groups utilize the service as well. Some caregivers of people with chronic illnesses use respite care. Other situations may include spouses, children, or other relatives who have disabilities. Respite care allows all of these people to live within their own homes rather than being placed in out-of-home facilities.

Among the varieties of respite care available, home respite care is often seen as the most preferable by the patient. It prevents the patient from having to travel or get accustomed to a new environment. In addition to home health aides, the patient's own relatives, neighbors, or friends can be used to provide home respite care as well.

Many health benefits have been discovered through the use of respite care. Patients who utilize respite care are often healthier, both physically and mentally, than those who do not. Respite care can also help reduce the occurrence of neglect and abuse in such situations.



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