Health in Brief
Bayhealth's pet assisted therapy program is a success. Plus, weight loss with a spiritual twist, family caregivers get a break, and more.
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When You Need a Break
The Lifespan Respite Care Network helps family caregivers of people with special needs or disabilities. Now you can take that trip.
“Eighty-percent of all long-term care provided in the Unites States is provided by family caregivers,” says Barbara Snyder, director of corporate and foundation relations for Easter Seals Delaware and Maryland Eastern Shore. “And one of the things we learned in our studies and surveys of respite care here is that those services are very fragmented.”
With the help of UD’s Center for Disability Studies, the Lifespan Respite Care Network was formed to provide “a one stop shop” for caregivers looking for services and support for their loved one.
“The network, through its Web site delrespite.org, serves caregivers of children and adults with special needs or disabilities, as well as issues involved with aging.
“Many family caregivers are providing care alone, limiting their ability to work and to afford provider services,” Snyder says. “Those who can do both face enormous pressures working full time and providing 24/7 care.”
The Lifespan Respite Care Network functions as a database for some 200 agencies that provide respite care for caregivers, if even for a short time. In cases where there is a corresponding financial need, the network provides cash grants to offset the cost of those outside agencies.
“The caregiver contracts with the agency, and then sends us the agency invoice for reimbursement,” Snyder says.
Cash grants through the network range from as little as $25 up to a maximum of $500.
“One client used his grant to put his family member into an assisted home long enough to take his grandchildren on a trip,” Snyder says.
“These caregivers daily face issues of emotional burnout, physical stress and conflicts within the family,” she says. “Sometimes all they need is a break, and that’s why our motto is: ‘When you need a break.’”
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