Graphic: Trading Places Getting Creative with 'Respite' - two photos of two different caregivers, who switched places for the night for pseudo respite

Trading Places: Getting Creative with ‘Respite’

‘Respite’ is often considered to be a formal program that you sign up or pay for. Really, the word ‘respite’ is a blanket term that refers to the opportunity to take breaks from caregiving.

We all know that whether it is formal or informal, respite can be hard to come by for family caregivers. Sometimes, you have to think outside of the box.

Allow me to tell you a story about how two caregivers made respite happen for them by thinking creatively.


The other night I went to dinner with my friend, Candace.

At the same time, Candace’s mom, and my grandma’s helper, Karen, took her to Keenagers.

You see, Keenagers is the monthly dinner hosted at her church for older members of their community. (DISCLAIMER: Karen is not in anyway old – in fact her aura is super youthful, that’s one reason I love her so much!)

Don’t get me wrong, I have attended my fair share of Keenagers dinners. See, I have proof!


Photo: Rachel and Candace at dinner on a respite switch

But it’s just not my scene – I am always the youngest person in the room, volunteers included. The dinner is always followed by entertainment. They have found the full gamut of after dinner entertainers – from bluegrass groups to A Capella quartets to a polka band.

I have known Candace for years through all the different things we’ve been involved in together. As Candace’s mom, Karen has been helping her as she works her way toward her Bachelor’s degree (coming next week!).

This semester, when Keenagers came around, Karen and I decided to trade places. She needed a break from helping Candace with her assignments, and I really didn’t want to go to Keenagers. So we switched spots for the night!

It worked out great for us, because Candace gets to hang with someone who is closer to her in age, and Grandma has someone who lights up her soul and has a little bit more patience to take her to Keenagers.


I want to hear from you!
What are some creative ways you have been able to take a break or get out of something you didn’t necessarily want to do? Drop them in the comments! I’d love to hear what works for you.