When a senior can no longer safely care for themselves due to developing severe memory loss or something like that, a family member or close friend often steps into the role of caregiver. Providing 24/7 care can become overwhelming, especially for someone without training. This is where a service, such as respite care, comes in.
The great thing about respite care is that it benefits the caregiver by giving them a break. And it also helps the seniors by providing socialization opportunities and safety, among other things that we’ll explore below.
What Is Respite Care?
As a person ages, it’s not uncommon for health issues to cause problems in their daily life. For example, diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s typically result in a person eventually needing full-time care. And when the caregiver (usually a close friend or family member) needs a break, respite care offers this short-term break.
Forms of Respite Care
There are three primary forms of respite care:
The move to a retirement community is a massive step for many seniors. If an older adult still lives in their family home, at-home respite care is likely the better option. Essentially, this involves hiring a professional caretaker to come in for the duration of the respite care. Because there is no change in residences, at-home care can last for basically any length of time.
At-home care typically involves things like, meal preparation, medication assistance, housekeeping, and assistance running errands. Depending on the circumstances, the caregiver may or may not provide 24/7 care.
Adult Day Center
Suppose a caregiver only needs a short break, like a single day or an afternoon. In that case, an adult day center or adult daycare could be an ideal option. These centers are typically staffed by a team who can assist each visitor based on their needs. They also often provide organized socialization opportunities and meals.
When a longer short-term break is needed, respite care within a retirement community offering other senior services may be the best option. Quite often, these places also offer things like memory care or assisted living.
So, if a senior is getting to a point where they’re considering places to spend their retirement, this may be the best choice. While the caregiver gets their break, staying in a larger community gives the senior a chance to enjoy the grounds and meet the team.
Benefits of Respite Care for Seniors
There isn’t really any one person who gets more benefits from respite care between seniors and their caregivers. The benefits are simply different.
Some of the primary benefits for seniors include:
When older adults need assistance in their daily lives, safety is often a primary concern. This could include a senior getting lost easily, leaving a stove burner on, or forgetting to take vital medications.
A professional caretaker ensures a senior remains as safe as they can be. This benefit is also a benefit to the caregiver.
When a senior still lives at home, they may lack opportunities to socialize. During respite care in a day center, there are typically opportunities for organized activities. Alternatively, respite care in a community often has organized outings for social opportunities.
In addition to socialization, other things are typically available during respite care to keep a senior active. For example, dance classes or nature walking trails could be available.
Benefits of Respite Care for Caregivers
Some of the benefits of respite care for caregivers include:
The most obvious benefit that respite care has for a caregiver is the break it gives them. This could be as simple as allowing them to catch up on errands in the afternoon. Or, they could want to take off for a couple of weeks on vacation.
Of course, this is a significant benefit for the senior. But when a caregiver is taking a break, the last thing they want is to wonder whether their loved one is getting the care they need. A professional respite care worker ensures the senior is safe and well cared for.
A family member or friend wouldn’t care for the senior if they didn’t love them. But no matter how much a caregiver loves, eventually, burnout can come knocking. With the option of taking a short-term break, there’s a much higher chance that a caregiver can avoid getting burned out.
Discuss Your Options With Us
Not sure whether respite care in a community is right for you at this time, give us a call. The Distinctive Living team is happy to answer your questions and review your options with you. If you’re interested, we can book you a community tour, so you can see it for yourself.