When it comes to providing quality home care for today's seniors, it is no secret that it sometimes takes a village. As our senior loved ones begin to age and find they are no longer able to care for themselves in the way they once were, many times friends and family members need to step up and start providing care. This can be a challenging, yet fulfilling experience for any individual and it can help ensure that seniors from all walks of life are getting the care and attention that they deserve, often in the comfort of their own homes.
Home and familial caregivers play a very important role in the lives of many seniors today, but it doesn't mean that they don't need help from time-to-time. This is where respite care comes in. Respite care is a type of short-term relief care that is designed specifically to give caregivers a break while still ensuring seniors are well-taken care of. No matter what level of care is needed, in respite care situations, a professional caregiver will be there to provide care in your stay so you can take time off, whether it is for an hour or a month.
It is so important that caregivers are giving themselves a much-needed break every once in a while, so they can relax, unwind and take care of themselves. Whether it is time off during the week to run errands or a much-deserved vacation, when caregivers need a little assistance, respite care is there to help. The only decision caregivers need to make is on what type of respite care they are going to turn to. The good news is, there are different types of these relief services available to help seniors, their caregivers and their families no matter what twists and turns life may bring.
In Home Respite Care
In-home respite care is a very common type of care for seniors, and one that can truly help caregivers get a break and take time to focus on themselves. In-home respite care can come in a number of different forms and there are many situations where respite care may be necessary. Typically, this type of care can involve:
- Companion care to help entertain, supervise or provide company for seniors when their typical caregiver isn't around.
- Assistance with running errands, doing chores or going to doctor's visits when their typical caregiver cannot.
- Full-time care when caregivers need to take time off or go on vacation.
- Medical-focused care that includes assisting familial caregivers with administering medications and other needs.
These caregivers can simply come to a senior's home and provide whatever type of care is needed for however long they need it. These are not full-time caregivers. There are so many families who find that this type of care is really helpful in insuring that their loved one can stay in their home and on their routine, even when their primary care provider isn't around.
Facility Respite Care
There are many families who will choose in-home respite care when they need to leave on long trips, but there are also other types of respite care options available. For many seniors, they only need care for a few hours a day, whether it is every day or periodically. In these situations, many older adults are comfortable receiving respite care at an adult day care center or skilled nursing care facility.
If you have never considered an adult day care center, you may be surprised to find just how common and beneficial these facilities can be. While the name may seem peculiar to some, these facilities are designed to provide seniors who need assistance or supervision during the day with the care and companionship that they require. Seniors can use these centers every day or just as-needed, depending on their situation.
Many times, this type of respite care is not only a budget friendly way to provide caregivers with some relief, but it also provides seniors with the opportunity to have a more active social life. Getting out of their home and around a group of their peers can be a great way for seniors to make friends and prevent the onset of loneliness. Seniors who may struggle with the early stages of dementia can also benefit from some of the mental stimulation that facility-based respite care can offer.
While it may not be for every situation, facility respite care is one of the most utilized form of care for seniors today.
Choosing the Best Respite Care Option
When it comes to choosing one type of respite care over the other, it is important to remember there is no one right answer. Typically, it depends on the situation. Taking your loved one to a respite care facility for an afternoon for care and some socialization time is often a great option; for caregivers going away for a week-long vacation, having a respite care provider come to their home is often the most comfortable situation for all parties involved.
What is most important is that caregivers have a plan in place regarding their upcoming care situation. Receiving respite care, even from a trained and highly professional caregiver can be a big change for any senior. Think about your loved one's feelings and their routine and make sure you are easing them into this change in their daily lives. If you are considering in-home respite care, then make sure you do a test-run with both you and the new caregiver before you leave. This is even true if you are having a friend, family-member or unpaid volunteer help provide care. If you are taking your loved one to a respite care facility for the first time, make sure you stay around until they are comfortable to ensure a smooth transition.
Treating this transition with the care and attention it deserves can only ensure that the entire process will go smoothly for all parties involved. Respite care can be one of the greatest tools that caregivers today utilize. It can ensure their loved ones are being looked after by a professional and it can provide caregivers with some relief. All that caregivers need to do is determine what type of respite care works best for their situation.