DHS wants caregivers to know respite care options

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Part of being a caregiver is taking care of yourself.

62,000 North Dakotans spent about 58 million hours caring for people with disabilities and illnesses last year according to the AARP, but the state's respite care options for caregivers are being underused.

Respite care is temporary help for primary caregivers. The Department of Human Services invited to a summit Tuesday, to teach them their options.

Sue Fagerholt was one of those at the summit. She was her husband’s caregiver after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She held that role until three years ago when he moved into a memory care unit.

Fagerholt says being an everyday caregiver wore her down.

“It’s 24/7 and I never felt like I could leave the house for more than a few minutes at a time without somebody elese being there just to watch him,” said Fagerholt.

She applied for respite care through the state, a move she says let her run errands and helped give her a rest.

“It gave me hope I guess. It gave me the hope I needed that I can do this,and I can keep doing this or the hope that I'm going to get a break,” said Fagerholt.

For more information on respite care options, reach out to the Aging Services Division:

Call: 1-855-462-5465

Email: carechoice@nd.gov

Website: https://carechoice.nd.assistguide.net/