By Jane Rogers, RN
Respite, or relief from care duties, for even a short while can be valuable for improving the caregiver’s physical and mental well-being.
Caring for your loved one can be fulfilling and exhausting at the same time. Even respite for a few hours can give you the chance to run errands, work at your job, go to your own doctor appointments or visit with friends.
Do you feel a twinge of guilt dropping your loved one off at Adult Day Service? Well let’s look at this as a welcome change of pace for your loved one to attend our “Activity Center” to see their friends who may have similar cognitive or physical disabilities. Respite care helps avoid isolation for both of you. Without respite breaks, caregiving can be stressful and lead to resentment and depression. You are already dealing with stressful health care issues, financial challenges and over all changes to the life you once were used to and now the 24/7 caregiving adds to the stress. It’s exhausting!
At Helping Hands Respite Care, a nurse is scheduled Monday through Friday which helps the families we serve feel more at ease. We monitor participants blood pressure, pulse, weight and the PO2 which checks their level of oxygen. This is done using a painless clip on their finger. Everyone is monitored monthly and more if needed. The objective is to monitor their health, trying to avoid most health issues to make it easier for you at home. Two way communication is key to achieving this.
All in all, here at Helping Hands Respite Care, we recognize the value of respite and our ability to provide comfort to the program participants as well as the families who receive our services.
Nurse Jane Rogers, Adult Day Services program
In my role as the Adult Day Services nurse passing medications, assisting with breathing treatments, checking blood sugars and vital signs every day is part of my daily routine. This allows people with various disabilities to receive the medical support they need. At the same time this allows them the chance to socialize and participate in activities. This routine serves to increase participant’s independence and self-worth.
I am a compassionate advocate for the people that visit Helping Hands Respite Care’s Adult Day Services (ADS). I feel a commitment to act in their best interests. Open communication with families is so important. When I observe physical or mental changes, talking with the families and listening to their input with empathy and an open heart is a priority. Listening helps me understand what is causing the changes in their loved one. In addition, I listen to the challenges that they, as caregivers, face in order to offer better support.
Caring for a loved one with declining abilities and dementia can be very isolating. I am so mindful of the fact that the family caregiver needs the support we offer in the form of respite care. But beyond that respite care of their loved one, I make it my mission to make sure that the family caregiver is given the time to share their concerns and to be heard. It is important to me that they don’t feel that they are alone.
At Helping Hands Respite care we believe in a culture of excellence. This involves respect for, and value of, an awesome team of professional caregivers. In the Adult Day Services program I work alongside Alison, the ADS supervisor, to model, teach and guide our professional caregiver team to care for our program participants with compassion and skill. By creating that culture of excellence we know this allows the families the respite time they deserve.
Jane Rogers has been a nurse for 40 years and has served in her capacity as the ADS program nurse since 2012. She helps us to continue a long tradition of maintaining a nursing presence in our program. This program was founded in 1983 by a group of nurses.