A Respite Care Checklist for All Caregivers
Being a primary caregiver to a senior loved one is a big responsibility, and even the most committed caregivers need a break at times. This is where respite care can help. It is a short-term care option to provide relief to a primary caregiver. It is used by caregivers when they are traveling or going on vacation.
Leaving an elderly loved one alone can be daunting to any full-time caregiver. However, having a respite care checklist that the new respite care provider can follow will ease worries. This allows permanent caregivers to relax when they take some time off or attend an urgent errand.
Here is what every caregiver should prepare before a respite care service steps in.
Caregivers should always provide the following information for a new respite care provider before they leave:
- Senior's name
- Dates of departure and arrival of the primary caregiver
- Caregiver’s travel location
- Caregiver’s contact information
- Duration and timing of care expected
Every caregiver should leave behind detailed medical information about their senior loved one, which should include:
- Illnesses and conditions the senior currently has
- Any current symptoms they are experiencing
- Information of primary care physician, emergency contacts, medical insurance, and location of the closest hospital
- List of medications including dosage, time, and any special instructions
- Instructions on taking medications and which medications shouldn't be mixed
- Instructions for common over-the-counter medications for allergies
The caregiver should give information on their loved one's normal routine that should include:
- Time the senior generally wakes up and goes to sleep
- Bedtime routines
- Shower, bath, restroom, and daily sanitary routines
- Mealtimes and snack times
- List of morning activities
- Activities before bed
- Preferred clothes
- The activities they like to do and those they don't like
Before leaving, caregivers should list out all the appointments the senior has, including doctor’s appointments, haircuts, activities, scheduled visits to family and friends, and anything else relevant. Ensure that the respite care provider has a list of all guests that plan to visit. This is a critical safety precaution.
A respite care provider may not have any prior knowledge of who the senior is or what their care needs are. Provide the following information to help them understand the situation better:
- Can the senior move unassisted, or do they need a wheelchair/lift/walker?
- If the senior needs help to get in and out of bed?
- If the senior needs help using the toilet?
- Is there an emergency bell in case there’s a need to use the toilet at night? Is the senior prone to accidents or falling?
- Can the senior climb up the stairs unassisted?
- Can the senior shower themselves without help?
- Can the senior dress and follow their grooming routine unassisted?
- Grooming routine
- Can the senior prepare their meals themselves, or do they need assistance during mealtimes?
- Do they need feeding assistance or struggle with any food items?
- Any inherent fears?
- Anything that causes the senior to become aggressive?
- Does the senior suffer from dementia or cognitive challenges that may cause instability in behavior?
- Do they prefer to go outside? Do they need a hat or sunscreen when outside?
Write these details down and discuss it with your new caregiver before you leave. Answer any questions or doubts they may have. Share a printed and an electronic copy of the above information with the respite caregiver.
Newport Home Care can provide efficient in-home respite care for senior people and dementia patients in the absence of family caregivers. Contact our professional respite care services to ensure safe and compassionate senior in-home care for your loved ones.