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What Is Respite Care and Why Is it Needed?

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What Is Respite Care?

There are many types of senior living, from aging in place to assisted living. The different levels of care available can benefit seniors and their loved ones, giving them more choices. Yet, making that choice can take time. And sometimes transitions from one place to another can also eat up precious time, especially if there’s distance.

Respite care is an option when you’re in-between places, need time to make a decision, or need a break from at-home care. 

Types of Respite Care

Respite care is short-term accommodation. The length of stay can vary depending on the facility. There are 3 main types of respite care: in-home respite care, adult day centers, and respite care facilities.

In-Home Respite Care

In-home respite care involves a secondary caregiver coming to the senior’s home to relieve a primary caregiver (such as a family member or paid caregiver). Seniors may need the service if their regular caregiver is unavailable, such as for personal reasons, illness, or vacation. The length of the service may be a day, a few weeks, or more.

Respite caregivers can be volunteers, family members, or a hired service. The services available will depend on the respite caregiver.

Adult Day Centers

Adult day centers or programs are similar to in-home respite care, as the length of time is flexible. The senior visits the center for a few hours or the whole day. However, most adult day centers are Monday to Friday and are closed on weekends.

Adult day programs can include classes, exercise activities, and social interaction. Some centers can offer transport to and from the center, but they are not responsible for appointments or doctor’s visits.

Respite Care Facilities

Respite care facilities are similar to short-term assisted living. Many locations require a 60-day minimum stay, but some facilities, including All American Assisted Living, have 30-day minimum stays. The maximum stay can also vary. Interested loved ones, caregivers, or seniors should contact the residence for a timeline.

As respite care facilities are a form of assisted living, they offer the same services and amenities. The availability of services can differ, but some common options include:

  • Activities & entertainment
  • Housekeeping
  • Medication management
  • On-site medical services
  • 24-hour personal care staff 
  • Transportation services

Why Is Respite Care Needed?

Whether it’s in-home or a care facility, there are many reasons respite care can be beneficial. The benefits of respite care can change with type, as each can offer unique experiences and services. For example, if a senior is comfortable, safe, and thriving at home, but their current caregiver has a cold, a temporary caregiver service can allow time for recovery.

Some of the most common reasons for respite care are caregiver fatigue, caregiver illness, a need for more services, or a trial run for assisted living.

Caregiver Fatigue

Caregiver fatigue or burnout is another significant reason why respite care is an invaluable option. There are over 40 million unpaid caregivers, with 90% of those caring for a relative. Many primary caregivers have jobs in addition to taking care of their senior loved ones. The emotional and physical demands of caregiving can lead to physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion.

Respite care gives primary caregivers time to take care of themselves. Whether they need rest, counseling, or treatment for physical symptoms (including illness), a short-term break can help.

Caregiver Illness

Although sometimes illness can be a symptom of caregiver fatigue, sometimes a cold is just a cold! Suppose a family member or paid caregiver comes down with an illness. In that case, it’s unfair for the caregiver and their charge if the caregiver isn’t at their best. 

A caregiver may also need respite to care for a sick loved one or dependent. Children with senior parents may have children of their own that need attention. A short-term break can allow the primary caregiver to focus more energy on a more immediate or personal concern.

More Care Services

Many seniors want to age in place. However, their home needs to offer the right support. A primary caregiver (family member or paid professional) may have expertise in some services or healthcare, but resources at home are limited. Respite care facilities offer wellness programs, transportation, and opportunities to socialize.

A stay with a respite care facility gives seniors (and their loved ones) a chance to see how a long-term stay may benefit their health and wellbeing. It may also demonstrate that more services are needed for home care, such as organizing a transportation service or social activities.

You may find a short-term respite helps you realize the benefits of a long-term stay. Or, you might discover occasional respite is the best choice. Respite care can give you the time and experience necessary to understand your options.

Testing a Care Home

When health changes or home situations change, aging in place may no longer be an appropriate long-term option. But it can be challenging to choose the best type of care in a short time. A stay in short-term assisted living can give seniors time to adapt to the community and see if the care is the right fit.

Loved ones or caregivers can take the time to research or schedule facility visits. There’s less pressure to find the right place today when you know your loved one is receiving care.

Contact Us for Respite

Whether you need a break or you want to try out our services and amenities, All American Assisted Living at Hillsborough can help. Seniors and loved ones can schedule a tour to learn more about our community up close or give us a call. Our friendly team is available to answer your questions. Contact us today!

Written by kaplan

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