Respite Care for Seniors

Although caregiving is important and worth the job at the end of the day, it can be exhausting sometimes.  You may feel like you are tired and just wish you need some time, even a day off. If you are feeling this way, it is time you start considering respite care. Respite care will give you the temporary relief you need to have some rest. It can always take place either at home or away. This article will discuss more on respite care and why it is important for caregivers or seniors. You will also learn the different types of respite care available. Please keep reading…

What is Respite Care

Respite care is specifically designed to give you some time off your caregiving duties. The temporary break can be some hours a day, once a week, or a few times a month. Respite care services can be provided at home or in a health care facility. The goal is to prevent burnout among caregivers and enable them to continue with their normal responsibilities healthily.

What Services are Offered in Respite Care Facilities?

Several services are offered to keep your loved one safe. The flexibility that comes with respite care enables the seniors’ caregivers to provide the best services to their loved ones without having to put their mental health at risk. Some of the respite care services include:

  • Daily support with activities of daily living, including taking a bath, grooming, and getting dressed
  • Assistance in preparing meals and eating
  • Medical support
  • Transportation services
  • Companionship
  • Exercise

There is also group respite care that can help your loved one as you take a break to take care of yourself. Mostly, group respite care is found in the assisted living settings or community centers. They have programs, including music, arts, and they offer group meals and time for socializing in those groups. Caregiving all the time at home can make you feel isolated. Even the seniors will be isolated if they are at home all the time. Group respite care may help them feel better and enhance their mental and social well-being.

Do You Need Respite Care?

Wondering whether you or your loved one need respite care? Well, as a caregiver, you need some time off. Maybe to go for a vacation or exercise your body. Some types of illnesses or disabilities may necessitate respite care. If you are caring for an elderly person with cancer, stroke, blindness, brain injury, or dementia, then you might need to use respite care.

Types of Respite Care

1.    In-Home Respite Care

In-home respite care services can be offered by someone you will pay regularly or simply as you need help. Volunteers can also provide these services to help you take some time off your duty. These services are provided in the senior’s home. Where can you get volunteers? You can source volunteers from your local community, faith-based, or other non-profit organizations. Services can include housekeeping, preparing meals, shopping, bathing, dressing, and feeding. You may also need to hire a skilled health care provider to cater to the medical needs of your aged loved one.

2.    Out-of-home respite care

Many non-profit and private respite care facilities are available that you can use to care for your loved one. Depending on your location, the out-of-home respite care programs include:

  • Adult Day Care Centers. Here, you can take your senior parent or loved to be taken care of. These centers are specifically designed for elderly persons who cannot live independently or those who feel isolated. The Adult Day Care Centers for Seniors offer services that are geared towards maintaining the health and social well-being of the aged persons under their care. They operate only during day time from Mondays to Fridays. The daycare centers have supportive and safe environments where your loved ones can surely thrive. They offer meals and afternoon snacks, along with special diets for seniors observing them. Please note that the cost of adult daycare centers varies, depending on your location, activities, and the services provided. Read more on the services offered at adult daycare centers at
  • Residential Programs. Residential programs are provided in hospitals, nursing homes, group homes, and other facilities. They provide temporary care services, including emergencies, and other planned overnight services. This gives caregivers a 24-hour relief from their duties. Does medical insurance cover respite care services in health care facilities? No, the medical insurance in the U.S. does not cover overnight respite. But other policies such the Long-Term Care Insurance Policies for Seniors may help subsidize the cost of respite care.
  • Caregiver Retreats and Respite Camps. These facilities are available in some areas so it is important to check first if they are found in your location. They usually provide respite care services, along with peer support and education.

Why You Should Engage Family and Friends in Respite Care

You don’t have to suffer alone. If you need some time off, why don’t you involve your family and friends? They may help while you go on a vacation or simply take a break when you feel very exhausted and almost having a burnout. You don’t have to wait for too long. Talk to them and encourage them to participate. Use the following strategies to get them engaged:

  • Engage in Open and Regular Communication. It is important to keep updating your family and friends about the senior’s condition and needs. Note that some members, especially those with no caregiving experience may not welcome the senior’s demand or even the stress that comes with such duties. But that is okay. Others may be willing to provide their support.
  • Ask Your Family About What They Can Honestly Do to Help. Allow your family members and friends to share their points of view regarding this matter. Accept and appreciate the offers you get from those willing to support you.
  • Be Honest About the Kind of Support You Need from Them. Don’t wait until you have burnout. Talk about your feelings and the tasks at hand.