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Respite Care: An Aspect of Senior Living That Every Family Caregiver Should Know About


Respite Care: An Aspect of Senior Living That Every Family Caregiver Should Know About

Nearly 42 million adults in the U.S. provide care for a family member or friend who is age 50 or older, according to the 2020 report, “Caregiving in the U.S.”

If you are one of these caregivers, then senior respite care could be a valuable resource for you and your loved one. In this blog post, we’ll explain what respite care is and how it can help you take better care of yourself and the person you’re caring for.  

First, What Is Respite Care?

Basically, respite care is designed to give family caregivers a break from their caregiving routine. It’s a chance for them to rest, refresh, catch their breath, and tend to other relationships and responsibilities.

Without that break, caregivers can become exhausted — physically, emotionally, and mentally. Depending on how much and what kind of care is required, caring for an older adult can require as much time and energy as caring for a young child. In some situations, it may be even more demanding.

While there are different types of respite care, we’ll focus on the respite care available at Avenir Senior Living. We offer senior respite care for older adults who:

  • Are recovering from an illness or injury and are unable to be on their own
  • Have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia
  • Need assistance with everyday activities such as grooming and meals

The duration of respite care can be anywhere from a couple of days to months or longer.

It’s important to note that in some cases, families will use a short stay in respite care as a trial to see whether they want their loved one to come live with us on a more permanent basis.


When Might You Benefit From Respite Care?

There are many reasons caregivers turn to respite care when they know it’s an option they can count on. Here are some examples of when respite care may be just what you need:

  • Your loved one needs more care, or a different type of care, than you’ve been providing.
  • You have travel plans, whether for work or personal reasons.
  • You have an illness or injury that prevents you from caring for your loved one.
  • You’ll require some downtime because of a planned surgery or other procedure.
  • You need time to take care of errands and other tasks that may have been pushed aside.
  • You need a mental health break — see more about this later in this post.
  • You want to spend some quality time with other family members and friends who may be feeling neglected.
  • You need some time for yourself.

You might be thinking to yourself that some of these reasons sound a little selfish, but the truth is that you do need to take care of yourself. You may have already heard this from other people, and they’re right. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be in a better position to take care of your loved one.


The First Time Is Usually the Hardest

The idea of leaving your family member in the care of someone you don’t know very well may leave you feeling uneasy. That’s natural.

This is why it’s helpful to look for a good respite care provider ahead of time, so you can be prepared when the need arises. If you can, talk with several providers. Ask questions. Visit with them in person, if you have the time and flexibility to do so. You’ll get a feel for how comfortable you might be leaving your loved one in their care.

If it’s an option, take your family member and spend some time together at the respite care provider. We encourage that here at Avenir Senior Living. We want you both to be as comfortable as possible with the decision you ultimately make.


What You Can Expect From Respite Care at Avenir Senior Living

Older adults who come to stay with us for respite care receive the personalized attention as residents who are here for a longer duration. We provide the following services:

  • Homelike setting. Your loved one will stay in a comfortably furnished apartment that feels like home, not a facility.
  • Three squares and more. Everyone in our care receives three nutritious meals every day, as well as snacks.
  • Engaging activities. We make sure that everyone has many opportunities to participate in activities that are aligned with their abilities.
  • Loving care. Our dedicated staff is thoroughly trained to provide care based on a personalized care plan. You can depend on us to treat your loved one like a member of our own family.
  • Always “on duty.” A licensed nurse and our professional caregiving staff are on-site around the clock, 7 days a week.


Mental Health Respite Breaks Help Prevent Burnout

Caring for a family member, whether it’s your parent or your spouse, is something you do out of love. We know that. The care you provide isn’t just about the tasks you do. It’s also about the relationship you have with your loved one.

In that regard, nobody else can entirely take over for you. But if you try to do it all on your own, you could eventually be placing your health — and your relationship — at risk.

We mentioned earlier that long-term caregiving can take a toll on your physical health. The added stress can also have an effect on your mental and emotional health, making you more likely to experience depression and anxiety, as well as sleeping and eating disorders.

The whole point of senior respite care is to help you avoid these potential health issues. You may eventually need to consider transitioning your family member to a different setting for long-term care. In the meantime, though, respite care can help protect your health, your loved one’s health, and your cherished relationship.

Our best suggestion is: Realize when you need to take a break, and then do it. This may not be easy, but it’s important. Using respite care can keep you going longer and stronger.

Our next-best suggestion is: Don’t wait until there’s an emergency. Choose a respite care provider before you actually need one.


Want to Know More?

If you’re interested in learning more about respite care for the elderly, and respite care at Avenir Senior Living in particular, contact us. We’ll be happy to answer your questions, and if you would like to set up a time to visit our community nearest you, we’ll gladly make the arrangements.




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