Respite Care Is a Good Option When the Going Gets Tough

Cancer & Caregiving
Reading Time: 5 mins
Publication Date: 10/25/2013
Fact Checked
Our fact-checking process begins with a thorough review of all sources to ensure they are high quality. Then we cross-check the facts with original medical or scientific reports published by those sources, or we validate the facts with reputable news organizations, medical and scientific experts and other health experts. Each page includes all sources for full transparency.
Reviewed is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.

Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.

More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.

About The Mesothelioma Center at

  • Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
  • Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
Learn More About Us


"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating

How to Cite’s Article


Kember, L. (2020, October 16). Respite Care Is a Good Option When the Going Gets Tough. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from


Kember, Lorraine. "Respite Care Is a Good Option When the Going Gets Tough.", 16 Oct 2020,


Kember, Lorraine. "Respite Care Is a Good Option When the Going Gets Tough." Last modified October 16, 2020.

Caregiving for another human being is one of the most physically and emotionally demanding roles that anyone can take on, yet husbands and wives around the world are shouldering this responsibility with nothing more than love to guide them.

Sadly, when it comes to being responsible for the well-being of another person’s life, love alone is not enough. Caregiving is a tough job, and those who find themselves taking on this role will need all the help they can get.

Family members and friends can provide some of the needed help; however, this is often not enough, and caregivers are left with more responsibilities than they can reasonably handle. This often leads to them becoming overwhelmed, and they begin to worry about their ability to care for their loved one indefinitely.

These are perfectly normal feelings, and no one should feel guilty about having them. Coming to the realization that you are not coping with a situation is a good thing, and this is the signal we need to do something about it.

What to do is the question. Respite care is the answer.

What Is Respite Care?

Respite care, is a pre-arranged ‘time out’ period for those caring full time for loved ones who are chronically ill or disabled in their own homes.

It can range from a few hours to several weeks, and can be provided in the home or in an institution that offers this type of service.

When respite care services are carried out within the home, it allows the caregiver a period of rest from their caregiving duties, while still in close proximity to their loved ones. This type of respite is a popular choice for many caregivers.

In-house respite care can provide a range of services, including:

  • Personal care provider: A person comes to your house and assists you with the daily needs of your loved one like bathing, dressing and helping them to the toilet.
  • Homemaker service providers: These individuals take care of general household duties like grocery shopping and preparation of meals.
  • Skilled health care providers: They provide assistance with any medical needs.

These services can greatly reduce a caregiver’s workload, but it can be very difficult for the caregiver to separate themselves from what is happening around them. This can prevent them from obtaining the rest and relaxation they need.

Respite care provided outside of the house allows caregivers a complete break from their caregiving role, and this can provide some amazing benefits, including:

  • Time and freedom to focus on well-being and something other than caregiving duties.
  • Relief of emotional and physical stress.
  • Social interaction with friends outside of the caregiving environment.
  • Peace of mind that their loved one is being well cared for in their absence.

Regardless of these benefits, some caregivers may be reluctant to relinquish the care of their loved ones, especially to a stranger, and they may also have some serious concerns about the level of care that their loved one will receive during the period of respite.

Here are some suggestions that may help alleviate those concerns:

  • Research respite care programs available in your area.
  • Choose two or three programs that provide your required standard of care.
  • Make an appointment with those in charge at these institutions to discuss your situation, and the duration of respite care you are seeking.
  • Tour each of the premises, and take notes of their ambiance.
  • Imagine your loved one in each of these institutions, and ask yourself if they would they be happy there.
  • Follow your instincts, and choose the institution you feel is safe.
  • Evaluate their cost.
  • Explain your feelings to your loved one, and the need for taking a break from caregiving.
  • Assure your loved one that the respite is only for a short time, and that you can still be reached.
  • If possible, take your loved one with you to visit the center prior to booking them in for respite. This will help allay their concerns, and prepare them for coping with respite care.

Respite Care Benefits Patient, Caregiver

Although caregivers may not be aware of it, the person they care for understands the amount of stress they are placing on those who tend to them. Patients worry for their loved ones, and this concern may cause them stress, too.

In these situations, respite care provided outside of the home can greatly benefit both of them.

Whether you choose respite care within your home or outside of your home, the short break this provides can make a world of difference to your health and your ability to cope with your caregiving role. And the good thing is, you can take another short break whenever you feel the need.

Why not give respite care a try?

To help you find out more about respite care and what it can do for you and your loved one, here are some helpful links.

Here are some links you may find helpful:

paper with magnifying glass
Get Access to Free Resources for Patients & Loved Ones
Free Mesothelioma Resources