Respite care is a short-term stay in a senior living community. It is an option for caregivers to take a break, reset, and refresh. Caregivers need to practice self-care even while caring for a loved one, making respite care a very important resource that caregivers are strongly encouraged to consider.
Caring for a relative or loved one can pose a lot of challenges. For starters, family caregivers do not get paid for their work, making it difficult for families who rely on the income from full-time work. Many family caregivers struggle to find the balance between working and caregiving. Stress and tension are also challenging for many caregiving families, even if the experience is ultimately positive. Physical exhaustion comes along for a 24/7 caregiver on top of the stress of someone relying on them to be there for them.
How Can Respite Care Help?
Family caregiving is a 24/7 job, and many are not willing to take a break. Respite care provides a reliable, trustworthy caregiving resource that can handle all of your and your loved one’s needs. Below are a few ways respite care can help you:
- Change is good for the soul. A respite stays in one of our elderly homes can offer an inviting change of routine, or simply, time to relax. Taking a break is not giving up or abandoning your loved one, but rather recharging yourself by focusing on your well-being so you may come back refreshed and ready to continue your loved one’s care.
- Transitional care. For an older individual who has just gone through a medical event requiring a hospital stay, or who now requires more care due to a health event, respite care can help with their transition into the necessity of more in-depth care.
- Social engagement. Many seniors may start to feel isolated and lonely. Respite care can help them socialize with others, almost like a getaway made for their mental well-being.
- Take an assisted living home for a test drive. Respite short-term care is a good way to evaluate a community for your loved one. If long-term care is something you are considering for them, this may help you find what your loved one enjoys and what they need to be happy in their future long-term care facility. This is an opportunity for your loved ones to feel relief knowing they are being cared for without committing to a permanent move before they are ready.
Regardless of the level of care required, it is important for all of our residents, short-term or long-term, to have a successful day, every day. A variety of services are offered to our residents including but not limited to
- Personal care
- Health and wellness activities
- Meal prep
- Trips for shopping, outings, or appointments
It is important for residents to feel “at home”, and respite care is a good way to allow caregivers an opportunity to unwind while their loved ones are comfortable and cared for.
Getting the Most Out of Respite Care
It is important to remember that respite care is meant to relieve stress. Arranging respite care sounds like a lot of work, but it is very beneficial once it is used. Below are some ways to get the highest level of return from respite care:
- Plan and schedule frequent breaks. Burnout is a huge concern for caregivers, so it is very important to plan out frequent breaks so your own needs are not overlooked.
- Use checklists. Informing respite care providers of your loved one’s likes and dislikes as well as ways to handle any difficult behaviors can help put you and your loved one at ease. A checklist will help communicate these things.
- Make backup plans. Be sure to have backup respite care options; unplanned emergencies should not be a reason caregivers cannot take care of their own needs.
- Expect changes. Respite care is a process and often requires adjustments to routine, caretakers, etc. so be sure you are open to these types of changes.
- Observe. Check-in with your loved ones before and after respite care to make sure they are getting all they need and are completely happy with their routine.
The Benefits to Your Loved One Receiving Respite Care
Not only does respite care benefit the primary caregiver, but it also has some great benefits for the loved one receiving the care. Below are the basic advantages respite care provides to seniors:
- Assistance with basic needs. Receiving help with cooking, cleaning, grooming, and other necessities allows your loved one to continue with their routine safely.
- Socialization. Interaction with others is a vital part of the aging process and can help boost cognitive health. Respite care can surround your loved one with other members of the community and senior-friendly events, lowering the risk of isolation and depression.
- Medication management. Many seniors take one or more prescription medications, which can be challenging for them to keep track of. Respite caregivers understand the importance of medication management and can ensure your loved one is right on schedule.
- Separation. Older adults need separation to do things they enjoy. Respite care will base the schedule for your loved ones on things they enjoy, to keep them happy and motivated.
- One-on-one care. Respite caregivers are flexible and able to spend one-on-one time with those who need more assistance than others. Skilled care and attention can help prevent a condition from worsening and boost your loved one’s quality of life.
Whether it be an afternoon stay or a week-long stay, family caregivers as well as seniors receiving respite care, benefit largely from this option.
Turning to respite care services does not mean that you are giving up on your loved ones or that they are a burden. It is simply an option that can help take some of the stress away, and return the joys of caring for a loved one to you. Reach out today to discuss our Respite Care Services.