Dealing with someone with adult disabilities, whether it be a parent, sibling or other family member, can sometimes mean choosing a respite care provider. Not a decision to make lightly, finding the right care provider is a process that requires a lot of research and focus. The end result is short-term breaks for you and other guardians taking care of the person, which means less stress, more energy and a more balanced existence for you.

Analyzing Needs

The first step in choosing a respite care provider is analyzing what you, individual receiving the care, and other family members who provide care need. Do you need more time off? Help with transportation? Think about your daily regimen and make a list of what you need help with most. Understanding what the family member needs most in terms of respite care is also essential, such as a companion for social activities, assistance with walking, eating, medication, and exercise, or mental stimulation.

Types of Respite Care

Understanding the types of respite care available is also important when choosing the right provider. Types are care are broken down into in-home and out-of-home categories. In-home care includes volunteer and paid companionship, healthcare assistance, informal family support and relief, and online caregiver communities. Out-of-home care for adult disabilities include caregiver support groups and adult daycare. Think about which type of care best suits your family after analyzing your and your loved one’s needs. For example, if going with in-home care, the family member will get to remain in recognizable surroundings, and you can be there while the person is still getting to know the care provider. Conversely, choosing an off-site respite location can provide your loved one with new surroundings to experience for the time being which may be what he or she needs as well.

The Interview Process

Once you’ve determined what you require from a respite care provider, it’s time to actually choose one. Perform phone interviews first before meeting with potential care providers in person. Ask the person or select few to furnish references, and check all of them. Do a criminal background check as well. After you’ve narrowed your choices down, think about cost and come up with a financial plan that works for everyone involved. Finally, it’s important to draw up a contract that provides specific details about how often the care provider is expected to work, duties they need to perform on a weekly or daily basis,
days off, and so on.

A Few Final Tips

Remember there’s no set guidelines for choosing the right respite care provider, what’s important is that you come up with a system that works for you, other family caregivers, and the family member with adult disabilities. Think about how you want to spend your time off, and consider how other family members feel about the situation. If you’re leaving the disabled family member in the care of another without your supervision, think critically about how you feel about it. You have to trust the person you’re leaving in care of your loved one in order for the arrangement to be a success. A harmonious relationship among everyone involved will help you get the time off you need, meaning you will not harbor guilt or resentment towards the disabled family member you love so much.