“There are only four kinds of people in this world: those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” This earnest prediction by former First Lady Rosalynn Carter could feel constricting—or we could learn to take it in stride. We are all aging simultaneously, of course: Each day, we grow one day older together. But a disproportionate segment of our population is aging toward retirement and toward expanded needs for home care and other specialty resources. We know this to be true, and we can adapt and prepare ourselves as we are called to shift our roles, responsibilities, and generosity.
In bigger cities like San Jose and the rest of the Bay Area, the percentage of older adults is even higher than the state average, so the need for caregivers is greater. Luckily, resources have arisen to meet the needs of caregivers and their aging loved ones in and around San Jose.
We need to recognize the benefit of those resources in our lives and reach for them. It’s easy to forget and neglect your needs for independence and personal well-being when you’re in the midst of caregiving responsibilities. And sometimes, it seems as if those responsibilities never let up. But to be a healthy, balanced, successful caregiver in the first place, you must take responsibility for your own needs as well.
Beyond certain routines and habits to curtail symptoms of caregiver burnout, one incredibly important practice is to take a real break every once in awhile. Not only does this break help you to step back and evaluate how the caregiving journey is progressing overall, but it also offers you the crucial opportunity to put yourself and your needs first.
Respite care opportunities serve this purpose. These services are expressly designed to relieve caregivers and to free them up for their own sake. You will return to your role after that time is up, but you will have had the freedom to focus on your own well-being, which underlies everything you do in and out of caregiving. And the good news is, there are plenty of opportunities for respite care in San Jose, including formal and informal services.
San Jose’s Compassionate Respite Care Options Near You
In equal measure, respite care programs and services are for you and the older adult in your care. The only way you’ll be able to step away and detach enough to focus on yourself is if you can trust that you’re turning over caregiving responsibilities to an experienced and compassionate individual or service. In San Jose, there are organizations built on kindness and light and a commitment to supporting aging adults to live gracefully and with dignity.
881 Fremont Ave
Los Altos, CA 94024
Phone: (650) 424-1411
IOA offers flexible in-home services to give caregivers some respite. By scheduling regular times for in-home trained caregiver assistance each week, you can put in place your own routines for well-being just as you have those routines for your aging loved one. You can rest assured, knowing they will enjoy compassionate care, companionship, and activities.
2380 Enborg Ln
San Jose, CA 95128
Phone: (408) 279-7515
Run by Respite & Research for Alzheimer’s Disease, the Alzheimer’s Activity Center—or “The Club”—offers on-site respite day care for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and similar conditions. The Club offers an immersive community for aging adults to feel engaged and active. Every week, participants interact with the Rosa Elena Childcare Center in fun, nurturing activities with kids. The activity center’s staff are certified in Quality Dementia Care.
20920 McClellan Rd
Cupertino, CA 95014
Phone: (408) 973-0905
Another on-site day program for older adults, Live Oak has locations in Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Gatos, and Willow Glen. “Taking short term breaks can relieve stress, restore energy, and promote balance in a caregiver’s life,” says the organization. The centers integrate physical activity, music and art, discussions of past and present, and diverse community visitors.
611 Veterans Blvd #114
Redwood City, CA 94063
As one of their home care services, Visiting Angels offer in-home respite care for family caregivers and a range of tasks. If you call them and get a voicemail, they are committed to calling you back within 15 minutes. Before assigning a caregiver, the agency will evaluate an older adult’s comprehensive life picture and needs, consulting with family members and medical care providers or social workers as needed.
It’s okay if you have questions or feel hesitation about diving into respite care services for the first time or with an unfamiliar provider. Just remember that the first step is to reach out and talk to someone who can shine a light on the organization’s values and practices and who can model the level of commitment they have to compassion and deep respect for aging adults as individuals.
The Benefits of Respite Care for Caregivers and Aging Adults Alike
Both you and your aging loved one need opportunities for socialization and even just to stretch out and get some fresh perspective. Don’t underestimate the importance of respite for your caregiving relationship as a whole. While it can be a difficult detour at first, eventually, it’s helpful to make respite care a regular stop on your caregiving journey together—something you can both look forward to and embrace as a rest and growth opportunity.
As we say at Institute on Aging, respite care is more than a luxury. If you have questions about the costs, challenges, or benefits of respite care, we’re more than willing to help answer them. You can reach out to us at any time, and we’ll be sure to shine a light on the resources that will be helpful along your caregiving journey.