ElderLaw News — The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. — MD, VA, DC
ElderLaw News

ElderLaw News is a weekly e-newsletter that brings you reports of legal developments and other trends of vital interest to seniors and their advocates. This newsletter is brought to you by The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., William S. Fralin, Esq., President.

Respite Care

Respite care is the provision of short-term, temporary relief to those who are caring for family members who might otherwise require permanent placement in a facility outside the home.

It is essential for family caregivers to find ways to leave their caregiving responsibilities and stress behind. No one can continue to expend his or her energy, strength and time, giving to someone else, without replenishing personal reserves. Respite care provides this relief, and allows caregivers to maintain their loved ones at home longer. Many caregivers consider taking a break to be the most important thing they can do for themselves in order to sustain their ability and desire to care for someone else.

Traditional respite care is usually provided on a sporadic basis, for several hours once or twice a week or a few times a month during daytime hours, allowing the family caregiver time to run errands, go to the doctor, have lunch out with a friend or just go for a walk. Respite care is not usually used to substitute for a family caregiver who is still working full time outside of the home.

Unfortunately, most caregivers don’t realize they are in need of respite care until there is a crisis. Many family caregivers do not see themselves as being entitled to a break, or they are reluctant to let others know that they cannot manage the demands of caregiving without help. Without respite care, not only can families suffer economically and emotionally, but caregivers themselves may face serious health and social risks as a result of the stress associated with continuous caregiving. Respite care can help reduce the likelihood of verbal or physical abuse by decreasing caregivers’ stress levels. When family caregivers take the time to refuel and refresh, they can lessen their frustration and possibly feel more patient with their care receivers as well. Respite care also improves the quality of life for the person needing care, by providing this person valuable interaction with a new caregiver and the opportunity to get used to someone beside the family caregiver.

Respite care can be used in conjunction with hospice care, and people often confuse respite care with hospice care. Hospice care is a Medicare benefit for those with a terminal prognosis of six months or less, and it focuses on comfort and quality of life rather than cure. Respite care can supplement hospice care so that the family caregiver can benefit from additional time off during an intense period of caregiving.


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The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C.

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. is an elder law firm. We represent older persons, disabled persons, their families, and their advocates. The practice of elder law includes estate planning, estate and trust administration, powers of attorney, advance medical directives, titling of assets and designations of beneficiaries, guardianships, conservatorships, and public entitlements such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and SSI, disability planning, income tax planning and preparation, care management, and fiduciary services. For more information about The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., please visit our website at http://www.chroniccareadvocacy.com.

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This newsletter is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel. While every precaution has been taken to make this newsletter accurate, we assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or damages resulting from the use of the information in this newsletter. The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. thanks the law firm of Hook Law Center for their input to this newsletter.

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