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Short-Term Care for Seniors: How Respite Care Works

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A senior woman and her female nurse laugh together.

When it comes to caring for a loved one, tasks can sometimes be overwhelming. It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself when you spend all of your time taking care of somebody else. Maybe your loved one needs special support after a lengthy hospital stay, or maybe your loved one wants to give a senior living community a trial run of sorts—this is when respite care comes into play.

Respite care allows a senior in need to have a temporary stay in a specialized community where they can receive all the care and support a full-time resident would have there. They receive their own living space, assistance with their daily needs, and medical support if they require it. This lets you know that they’re receiving a high level of care while you can take some time to yourself and rest.

What Is Respite Care?

Respite care is a service designed to provide temporary relief for primary caregivers while still making sure their loved one receives the care and support they need. This gives caregivers an opportunity to recharge and avoid caregiver burnout. They can attend to their personal needs, rearrange their schedules or make adjustments as needed, or simply take a break while their loved one is receiving their care.

This also provides their loved one social interaction and medical assistance (if they need it) by surrounding them with a supportive and caring community. This care can last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on the facility offering this service. During this time, the senior can receive assistance for most, if not all, of their daily needs. 

Whether the senior in question needs a hand with bathing or medication management, the teams at these communities are trained to help support all of their residents. They build a custom-tailored plan so your loved one can receive the care they need for a high quality of life.

These communities can be an excellent option for families who need a break from caregiving, for seniors who may require short-term assistance after an extended hospital stay, or can even act as a trial run where your loved one can try out senior living and see if it’s the right choice for them.

What Are the Different Types of Respite Care?

There are several types of respite care, each with their own unique benefits. The 3 most common types of respite care are:

  • At-home care
  • Medical support
  • Senior living options

At-Home Care

When choosing at-home support, a professional caregiver comes to your loved one’s home to provide care there. This type of care can be set up to suit your loved one’s exact needs, but it can also often be the most expensive of the 3 options. This option also provides less social stimulation than other available choices, as your loved one will be in their own home and not in a senior living community.

Medical Respite Care

Medical care options include hospitals, nursing homes, and hospice care. These facilities provide both medical care and assistance with daily activities. This is a popular choice for seniors who may be recovering from a serious illness or surgery and are worried about being alone while healing. However, this option may not be as comfortable due to the medical setting. 

A diverse group of senior men and women play cards together on a table with snacks and drinks.

Senior Living Respite Care

The third option, senior living community respite care, combines the best of both of these options. This can be offered at most assisted living, memory care, and independent living communities. Senior living respite care provides residents, both temporary and permanent, with physical and mental support through various programs, events, and services.

Respite care at a senior living community gives your loved one the opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded people, a supportive environment, and help with all of their daily needs. This also can act as a great way for your loved one to try out the facility for a short period of time if they’re thinking about choosing a senior living community.

How to Pick the Right Community for Respite Care

When it comes to picking the right community for respite care, there are a few questions that can help guide your decision:

  • Will the community meet your loved one’s needs?
  • Does it have everything they want for a high quality of life?
  • Is it a financially sound decision?

If your answers are yes, schedule a tour and get to know the community in-person. By actively researching communities ahead of time to see if they meet your loved one’s needs, you can help your loved one to receive the care they need.

At Serenity South Senior Living, we understand how important it is for everybody to have a high quality of life. Our respite care options at Serenity Senior Living offer the opportunity for your loved one to receive the care they need. Schedule a tour to learn more about our lifestyle options.

Written by Deborah Shane

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