Taking care of a loved one can be an incredibly rewarding experience. It can also be tougher than most people realize. Many older adults enjoy having family members assist in their care, but this can put significant strain on the primary caregiver day in and day out.
If this scenario sounds all too familiar, then it might be time to consider respite care. Respite Care is designed to provide short-term help to caregivers and can even act as an introduction to life in an assisted living community. In this article, we’ll discuss the details of respite care, how it can benefit family caregivers, and how to determine if it fits your loved one’s needs.
What is Respite Care?
Respite care is a form of short-term assisted care designed to provide support to caregivers when they’re unable to tend to their loved one or simply need a break. There are a variety of care options with this service, such as in-home care or a short-term stay at a senior living community. The idea is to match both the needs of the caregiver and the comfort of the patient.
There are three main types of respite care that aim to achieve this goal:
- Adult day care services
In this arrangement, a professional agrees to help care for your loved one for a set number of hours. This might be in your home or in an assisted living community and is typically stopgap measures to address a temporary need.
- In-home care
With home respite care, someone will come to your loved one’s house to stay with them as needed or on a scheduled routine. For example, they might come twice a week to help with meal preparation, laundry, and picking up around the house.
- Residential services
Some care communities offer short-term respite stays where people can stay overnight or for a few days or even weeks if their primary caregiver is unavailable or taking a trip. This might include access to skilled nursing care, if necessary, and gives your loved one a chance to participate in social gatherings with their peers.
Respite care services can range depending on where they’re performed and how much assistance your loved one needs. Some individuals may need minimal assistance, but others could require more intensive services such as assistance with activities of daily living or personal care (grooming, bathing, hygiene, etc.). Choosing a respite care program that best matches those needs is the best way to ensure your loved one’s comfort while you’re away.
Benefits for Caregivers
While you’re busy catering to the needs of a loved one, it’s easy to put your own well-being on the back burner. It’s important to remember that your health needs time and attention too. Respite care services can help prevent caregiver burnout by giving caregivers a much-needed break.
Day Stay/Care services can be especially helpful if you just need a day to yourself to run errands, attend your own doctor appointments, or enjoy some relaxing activities with friends. Short-term care at a senior care community is a helpful option if you plan to be gone overnight or for a few days.
Respite services in a care community carry an extra benefit, too. It introduces your loved one to the idea of long-term care outside of their home while you take some time for yourself, whether that’s a vacation or just your favorite relaxing activities. The experience shows them the ease of living with a full-time staff dedicated to their health and happiness, which can open their mind to relying on professionals for care instead of family members.
How Do I Know What’s Right for My Loved One?
It can be difficult to determine the best route of care for your loved one. Maybe long-term care seems like more than they need but staying in the home is no longer an option. Or long-term care might be the perfect option but they’re not open to leaving their home. There are a few things to consider that will help you determine the best decision for you and your loved one.
- Do they need significant help with daily activities?
- Are you concerned about accidents/emergencies?
- Do they miss seeing friends or being part of a community?
- Do you feel constantly stressed or strung out?
If the answer to most or all of these questions is yes, then your loved one would benefit from a long-term care community. These communities focus on assisting residents with all activities of daily living, have a trained staff to handle emergencies, offer plenty of social opportunities and activities, and take the burden of being primary caregiver off your shoulders.
Respite Care Can Ease the Transition
Most people want to stay in their home as long as possible, but sometimes it’s not the best place for them anymore. If your loved one needs more intensive care but is hesitant about moving to an assisted living community, respite care is one way you can ease them into the transition. It offers a taste of what living with full-time care is like, how the community operates and what amenities are available. Overall, it can help ease your loved one’s concerns about a big life transition and give you both a chance to learn more about your options.
At Weatherly Inn, our communities offer specialized respite care services to help relieve caregivers and introduce their loved ones to the benefits of a full-time care community. Contact your local community today to speak with one of our care professionals about the best options for you and your loved one.