What Is Respite Care, and Why Is It Needed?

Jun 21, 2022

Caregiving is a demanding job that doesn’t have to be done alone.

If you are the primary caregiver for an aging family member, you’ve probably experienced circumstances where you need some extra support. Whether you have a social obligation, a work-related responsibility, a planned vacation–or if you simply need a respite from caregiving to regroup and recharge – Respite Care could be the perfect solution.

“Many caregivers use Respite Care to promote healthy balance in their lives,” says Tammy Sunderman, vice president of sales and marketing at Charter Senior Living. “Whether these short-term stays are regularly scheduled or used sparingly, they support the sustainability of your caregiving arrangement.”

Keep reading to learn more about Respite Care and how it can enhance the quality of life for both caregivers and seniors.

What Is Respite Care?

Respite Care provides short-term personal and medical care for seniors. You can schedule this care and supervision for a few hours, a few days or longer. Community caregivers will follow your family member’s personal care plan, providing continuity and normalcy while you attend to other responsibilities or take a much-needed break.

Respite Care often includes:

  • Assistance with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, eating and getting around)
  • Administration of medication
  • Supervision of exercise
  • Opportunities for social interaction and entertainment

There are three basic types of respite care:

  • In-Home Care: Providers – sometimes called home health aides – will come to your loved one’s home to keep them company and carry out their care plan while you’re away.
  • Adult Day Care: These facilities will give your family member what they need during the working hours, which can allow you to continue your career and still fulfill your caregiving duties.
  • Respite Care Facilities: Sometimes offered at senior living communities with other levels of care, Respite Care facilities provide your loved one with access to all the amenities and services that a permanent resident enjoys. They can stay overnight and for days at a time. These stays offer an opportunity to try out senior living before making a commitment.

Benefits of Respite Care for a Family Caregiver

Respite Care can be an essential component to successful caregiving. Having professionals to count on when you need to go to doctor appointments, take a business trip, or enjoy a well-deserved vacation can make all the difference.

When your needs are neglected, your patience can begin to wear thin, and it can make caregiving feel isolating and overwhelming. It can even lead to caregiver burnout, which is a state of exhaustion often accompanied by fatigue, stress, anxiety or depression.

It’s important that you are able to continue doing the other things you love and stay connected to other people in your life. The temporary relief of Respite Care can allow you to take good care of yourself while also keeping your loved one safe and well.

Benefits of Respite Care for a Senior

While the care you give your family member is thorough, generous and kind, it can be isolating for a senior to be limited to one environment with few opportunities for social interaction. Arranging for Respite Care services at a senior living community provides them with stimulation, socialization, and a slightly different routine.

“Seniors who receive temporary Respite Care are able to take advantage of all the same amenities and services as our residents,” says Tammy Sunderman. “They can participate in our full calendar of activities and events, connect with peers, and enjoy the enhanced lifestyle we provide residents.”

The benefit of social interaction is especially important for seniors. Socialization has positive effects on mental health and cognitive abilities. As attentive as you are as a caregiver, it’s impossible to offer them the kind of social capital that they can gain when they stay in a senior living community for Respite Care.

These experiences in senior living can also offer seniors and caregivers insight into what a future move into an Assisted Living facility could look like. These temporary stays could help ease concerns and create excitement about a potential move into a senior living community.

How Much Does Respite Care Cost?

The costs of Respite Care vary depending on the assistance you need for your loved one and the time period you need it for. Generally speaking, in-home care is the most expensive type of care, followed by a short-term stay in senior living and then adult day care.

Charges are usually by the hour or by the day that seniors receive services. While these expenses are not normally covered by health insurance, some long-term care insurance plans will subsidize the costs. Medicaid and Medicare can also help cover Respite Care services.

Respite Care at an Amenity-Rich Senior Living Community

Your loved one can receive the support and care they need through Charter Senior Living’s Respite Care services. During these short-term stays, they will have access to our vibrant and relaxing community life and learn more about our continuum of care. Many respite residents become full-time residents in our Assisted Living or Memory Care communities.