Respite In Place: The Backyard

Michele Ertl-Rosner, a mom to four including her daughter with complex care needs, gives us a tour of her backyard.

Family caregivers often can’t get a break. Sometimes, the break can’t happen because family caregivers can’t find or hire help because of the direct care workforce shortage. Sometimes, the break can’t happen because we simply can’t leave because of the pandemic or a status change with our caree. Sometimes, we just don’t have the energy to create the break; just thinking about the planning, the organizing and the managing required to make the break can exhaust us. It can be a lot of work to get a break.

If we can’t leave, we need Respite In Place — a spot in our house, our yard and our community that gives us a break. In our easy-to-reach Respite In Place space, we relax, focus on ourselves and take a few moments to breathe. The Respite In Place area also gives us a break from looking at caregiving equipment and supplies that can seem to take over the house.

Often, it’s great to get out during our personal caregiving experience. Sometimes, it’s even better to stay in and simply enjoy a space that gives back to us right where we are.

Michele Ertl-Rosner created her Respite In Place spot in her backyard. Her space is her workspace, her family’s gathering space and the respite space. I met Michele, who has four children including Julia who has complex care needs, in June when she attended our Certified Family Care Manager program. When I spoke about Respite In Place during our virtual training, Michele said, “I’m in my respite space, right here in my backyard.”

I connected with Michele on Friday to talk about the space she and her husband created and to take a tour. Enjoy the conversation and the tour via the video, below.

Please share any questions you may have for Michele in our comments section, below. You also can learn more about how Michele modified a tiny bathroom to accommodate Julia.

We’d love to feature Respite In Place space, which can be in your house, your yard or your community. Fill out our form to be a show guest and we’ll be in touch.


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