GETTING RESPITE CARE

For parents with children with special health care requirements, “me time” may be a fantasy. A little time to yourself or with a spouse, partner, friend or another child would be wonderful. Exactly where do you go about choosing a suitable caregiver for your child? And even if you do, can you put your faith in someone else to provide your child exactly what he or she requires?

A well-deserved vacation from caregiving can be as easy as locating a professional and loving person you can trust to provide respite care.

In terms of options, what is out there?

There are numerous sorts of respite care available, including:

  • day programs (at a school, health care facility, or faith-based or volunteer agency) that provide activities daily or weekly respite programs supplied by a community-based organization, host family, residential facility, or sleepaway camp
  • Families can also take advantage of “parent co-ops” that provide respite care. During this time, families take turns watching the children of one another. You could, for example, take a day or evening each month to watch another person’s child, and the other parent could do the same for you. Families of children with your child’s condition can meet each other through support groups.

As long as you provide your family, friends, or neighbors with the proper training, this may be a possibility for you.

Do I have any options for finding local caregivers?

In most cases, the care needed by children with special health care needs goes above and beyond what the average babysitter can provide. Finding a qualified caregiver can be accomplished in a number of ways.

  • Get information from your care team or hospital social worker.
  • Contact local advocacy groups, such as your state’s developmental disabilities department, to learn more about your rights (find a local chapter).
  • Providers like as visiting nurses, childcare centers, and sleepaway camps can be included in the list you receive.

How Do I Approach Caregiver Interviews?

You should conduct a phone interview after you’ve narrowed down your options and chosen someone or anything in particular. Caregiver background and reference checks should be inquired about. Check to see if the caregiver is capable of meeting all of your child’s needs—from toileting to communicating—before you leave. Ask for a face-to-face meeting with the caregiver and see how they connect with your child.

Call the applicant’s references and inquire about the caretaker’s background. Were there things you didn’t enjoy about the caregiver? In order to locate the right person, keep interviewing and asking questions.

What Are My Options for Paying for Respite?

The expense of respite care can be prohibitive, but there are government programs to assist. Included are:

  • Waiver funding for Medicaid recipients. Most disabled children are eligible for Medicaid waivers that cover the cost of respite care in their homes and communities. Care is paid for or reimbursed by waivers, depending on which option is chosen. Your child may be eligible for Medicaid waiver financing through the department of developmental disabilities in your area. Go to Kids’ Waivers to find out about programs in your state.
  • Financing for the duration of your life. If a State Lifespan Respite Grant is available in their state, children who do not qualify for Medicaid waivers may be eligible for financial support for respite care.
  • Childcare assistance for active-duty service members and their families is available. Respite care is available to military spouses and active duty service personnel who have children under the age of 18. More information can be found online at Child Care Aware of America or the military’s health care program, TRICARE.
  • Family Voices and your social worker can help you determine which respite options your kid is qualified for.

You’ll wonder how you ever lived without respite care for your child once you find it. Your mental health benefits greatly from having an extra set of hands to assist you in doing errands, attending appointments, or simply relaxing. As a result, you’ll have more energy and a better mood to devote to your child and family.

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