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How Respite Care Can Be Used to Test Drive Assisted Living

Respite care provides short-term relief for primary caregivers who support their aging loved one. Respite care takes many different forms, depending on the family and their needs. In some situations, caregivers may utilize respite care during a vacation, medical appointments or if their loved one needs rehabilitation after an illness, injury, or surgery. Respite care can take place in a nursing and rehab facility, in one’s home or even in an assisted living community. During a respite stay, older adults will have access to a wide variety of services such as personal care, socialization, dementia care, transportation, medication management and stimulating activities. While respite care is primarily utilized by individuals with caregivers, it is also a great way to experience what assisted living has to offer on a daily basis.

Benefits of Respite Care

Spending time outside of the home or even considering a transition into an assisted living facility can be overwhelming. Respite care provides a much-needed break for caregivers while also providing as many benefits to the individual receiving care. Receiving respite care at an assisted living community allows residents to get a feel for daily life and ask any questions they might have during their stay. In addition, respite care offers a variety of physical and emotional benefits:

·         Change of environment. Individuals who receive care might only interact with the same people each day. A respite stay allows for a change of lifestyle and an opportunity to learn new things and meet new people.

·         Social engagement. Many older adults are at risk of becoming socially isolated, especially those who do not consistently interact with different people. A respite stay gives individuals the opportunity to develop new relationships with caregivers and their peers. Respite stays in assisted living communities allow friendships to develop organically, which can help improve one’s mental health.

·         Experience community living. Many people have flawed perceptions of senior living. A respite stay at an assisted living community gives individuals the opportunity to see if they would enjoy community living without committing to a permanent move.

Caring for the Caregiver

According to the Cleveland Clinic, caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion. Caregivers are likely to experience fatigue, anxiety, and depression at some time in their caregiving journey. In fact, according to the Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 report, nearly one in five caregivers reports a high level of physical strain. The same survey reports only 14 percent of family caregivers to utilize respite services, even though 30 percent believe it would be beneficial.  Respite care can provide a needed break for the caregiver and give their loved one a chance to experience what assisted living has to offer.

Benefits of respite care for the caregiver  

Caregiving for an older adult is a full-time job that is often both emotionally and physically demanding. Respite care provides breaks for caregivers to go on vacation, tend to their own families and appointments, or have free-time to invest in their own hobbies and interests. Along with giving their loved one an opportunity to explore the conveniences of community living, respite care also provides caregivers with many different benefits:

  • Time for relaxation. When providing constant support to a loved one, there’s not much time to spend on yourself. Respite care provides outstanding care for your loved one so you, as the caregiver, have time for yourself. When gone unaddressed, caregiver burnout can lead to chronic illnesses and even early mortality.
  • Peace of mind. Thinking about a person’s every need means the brain is constantly on alert. This type of overstimulation can cause feelings of anxiety and depression. Everyone needs a break, especially caregivers. With respite care, you can rest easy knowing your loved one is getting the quality care they need and deserve.
  • Social interaction. Caregiving can be an isolating experience for both the caregiver and the person receiving care. Making time to meet up with friends and family in a social setting can help combat caregiver burnout. Respite care provides the opportunity to socialize with loved ones, which ultimately helps support better caregiving practices.

Questions to Consider

Treating your respite stay as a way to test drive assisted living can save you time and effort when you begin touring different communities. To make the most of your stay, you should consider asking yourself the following questions to help you reflect on your experience:

·         Can the facility provide the level of care I need?

·         What activities are offered? Will I/my loved one be stimulated?

·         What is one thing I liked about my stay? One thing I disliked?

·         Does this community fit in with my lifestyle?

·         Could I envision myself moving to and liking this community?

·         Does the assisted living community provide the services I want and need?

·         Do I feel free to live my life as I have been and keep to my preferred schedule?

·         Does this assisted living community fit my personality?

Respite Care at Maplewood Senior Living

Our Maplewood Senior Living communities offer comprehensive care that provides each family peace of mind, knowing their loved one is receiving the best care possible. Our highly-trained staff, state of the art facilities, and compassionate care team provide an experience that does not disappoint. Ready to take a test drive? Schedule a tour or a respite stay at a community near you.

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Westport, CT 06880

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