MORE THAN 65 million people, 29 percent of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one according to the National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP.
The value of these services that family caregivers provide for "free" is estimated to be $375 billion a year.
The typical family caregiver is a 49-year-old woman caring for her widowed 75 year-old mother who does not live with her.
Approximately 66% of family caregivers are women with children and grandchildren under 18 years old living with them.
Respite care, involving a temporary stay, provides a break or vacation from the day-to-day work of caregiving.
Cost of respite generally varies depending on the facility, but seniors can expect to pay about the same price as a nice hotel or bed and breakfast. Residents can expect three meals per day, housekeeping and laundry services, activities, and 24 hour supervision at skilled facilities that accept respite care participants.
According to a report called How Do Family Caregivers Fare?
By the Center on Aging Society, more than 1 in 10 of family caregivers report that caregiving has caused their physical health to deteriorate. For these caregivers, respite care in a safe, dependable, and temporary environment is a necessary vacation for consideration.
Pamela Weber, Administrator at Autumn Healthcare in Adena, states, "A temporary stay in a facility can provide around-the-clock care while a family takes a much needed vacation.
Often our facility cares for a loved one during summer months while caregivers recuperate from the daily stress of every day responsibilities."
As the older population grows, the need for help for caregivers is growing too.
Respite care is one area that is meeting that need.