What is respite care? - SeniorHousingNet.com
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Respite Care
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What is respite care?

Respite Care is a short-term stay option for seniors currently receiving in-home care. It provides temporary relief from duties for caregivers, ranging from several hours to days.

Taking care of an elderly person can be physically and emotionally exhausting. It’s important for caregivers to seek out occasional relief from their responsibilities. Whether it’s a few hours a week, or a few weeks a year for a vacation, respite care gives caregivers the ability to reduce stress, restore energy and maintain a balanced lifestyle. Generally, respite care refers to a short-term stay at a senior citizen community, giving seniors a comfortable and engaging living option for those who need daily assistance, while their main caregiver takes relief from all responsibilities. It can also refer to short-term in-home caregiving services too.

Some caregivers may want to try respite care to help gradually ease their loved ones into living at a senior housing community.

Respite care services: What are they?

Respite care services are catered directly to a senior’s needs. Providers are able to offer health care, non-medical care and companionship, depending on what a senior and his/her family request. Below are some services that may be available, both in an organized community setting or for in-home care:

  • Supervision and security
  • Activities and outings
  • Assistance with personal care, such as bathing, dressing, toileting, grooming and oral care
  • Walking/wheel chair assistance
  • Housekeeping and laundry
  • Transportation
  • Meal preparations
  • Medication management

Who receives respite care services?

Generally, caregivers who elect for respite care services can relate to one or more of the following:

  • The family caregiver needs to travel, either on vacation or to visit family
  • The family caregiver needs a break
  • A family would like to gradually ease their loved one into life at a senior housing community

Average costs of respite care services

For respite care at an assisted living community, temporary care stays are usually less than one month long, costing on average between $75 to $200 per day. The cost of respite care varies with the type of agency and services a person needs. There are financial programs that may help pay for respite care, such long-term care insurance policies. For those electing for in-home respite care, many home care services cost about $20 an hour for a health aide, or $18 an hour for a homemaker/companion for a minimum of four hours per day.

Is respite care the right choice?

For many seniors and caregivers, electing for respite care is a cost-effective way to alleviate pressures and stress from a caregiver, as well as evaluate life at a senior housing community for a family considering that care option. When making such changes, it is important to involve your loved one and gain their input. It is also important to assess your needs by making a list of what care is needed in your absence or what you would like your loved one to experience during his/her short stay at a senior housing community.

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