Respite care is a way for your senior loved one to receive temporary care when their usual caregiver needs a break.
This type of care may be provided in your loved one’s home, or it may involve a short stay in a senior living community. Respite care may last anywhere from a few hours to several weeks depending on individual need.
Here are the answers to some common questions about respite care.
When is Respite Care a Good Solution?
There are many different reasons why you might consider respite care for your senior loved one.
- Their home has become uninhabitable, perhaps due home modifications or renovations.
- They have undergone surgery and need additional care before they can return home.
- Their usual caregiver is going out of town or simply needs time away from caregiving.
- They want to experience a senior living community before relocating permanently.
What Respite Care Options are There, and How Do You Find Them?
There is a wide variety of respite care options. If you need a day-long break from caregiving to do other things or just to relax, you could look for day programs that provide socializing opportunities and activities like games, physical exercise, or music therapy. Some programs provide counseling, personal care, and physical or speech therapy.
For longer stays, you might look for a senior living community nearby or find someone who can provide overnight care in your loved one’s home.
Once you know what you’re looking for, there are many ways to find it.
- Contact the local agency on aging to ask if they maintain a list of respite care options.
- Check with friends and family who are caregivers for a senior they love.
- Talk with your family member’s primary care physician.
- Ask local senior communities about their respite care program.
- Call the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association’s or visit locating community resources on their website.
Once you find a location, call and ask the staff questions to address any concerns you may have. Their answers will give you some insight in to how they treat those in their care.
How Much Does Respite Care Cost?
The cost of respite care will vary widely depending on the type of care involved and how long it is needed. Ask the respite care provider about payment options or sliding scale fees. Long-term care insurance may also be able to help pay for respite care.
Local, state, or federal government programs are other potential sources of financial assistance. Local agencies on aging or Alzheimer’s Association branches may be able to answer questions about funding respite care.