Supporting caregivers through respite care

Much attention is given to those in failing health and in need of care. But what about the people giving the care?

“We find that a lot of times with illness, there are a lot of people there to help and support the person who is sick, and not a lot of people to help and support the person who is doing the care giving,” Monique Duray said.

Duray is the Regional Manager for the Caregiver Support and Respite Services of Lutheran Social Services, a program that exists to provide support for those caring for loved ones at home.

Filling the role of caregiver can take its toll. “Statistically, care giving is incredibly stressful and can be very harmful to somebody’s health, if they don’t handle it right,” Duray said.

Warning signs of burnout might be difficulty sleeping, a change in weight or coloring, looking pale or worn out, or an increase in symptoms of their own medical conditions.

Through the LSS program, caregivers have access to respite care, or “short-term relief.” Volunteers can step in to sit with a family member, so the caregiver can run errands, attend a discussion group, or just take a break.

For more, see this week’s North Star News!

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