June, July, and August are traditionally busy vacation months for families because the kids are out of school. From road trips to visits to faraway grandparents and beach getaways, it’s something everyone looks forward to all year. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic kept people home last summer. “Staycations” became more popular than ever as people planned creative getaways in their own backyards.
As coronavirus restrictions ease, many families are gearing up for long-awaited summer vacations. A challenge some face is what to do about a senior loved one who isn’t able to travel. Adult children who’ve taken on the role of caregiver for an aging parent might think a vacation isn’t in the cards for them.
Unpaid Family Caregivers
More people find themselves in the role of an unpaid family caregiver. They play a crucial role in the health and well-being of loved ones. The AARP estimates that one in five adults, or 53 million people, are unpaid family caregivers. It’s a rewarding but often exhausting role.
Family caregivers are often required to be “on call” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even if their senior loved one doesn’t live with them. It’s a physically and emotionally demanding situation that can take a toll on the caregiver’s health. That’s why it’s necessary to take regular breaks, including vacations with family and close friends.
Respite care is one solution caregivers can consider. It can bridge the gap in supporting the senior so family members can relax and enjoy a vacation.
Respite Care Allows Family Caregivers to Take a Vacation
Respite care is a short-term solution designed to give a family caregiver a break. A caregiver can utilize respite at a senior living community for a short period of time to take care of personal needs or for a long getaway. Many communities allow respite guests to stay for a month at a time as often as they would like.
Respite residents receive the same level of personal care and support as the community’s permanent residents. At most communities, respite guests will enjoy:
- A private, furnished apartment or suite with safety features that generally include an emergency call system, grab bars in the bathroom, and handrails in hallways
- Assistance with personal care needs, such as bathing, grooming, and dressing
- Three healthy meals a day from a restaurant-style menu
- Medication oversight, including reminders and assistance at dosage time
- Diverse calendar of daily life enrichment activities and fitness programs
- Transportation to physician appointments and outings to local restaurants, shopping centers, and other popular destinations
- Weekly laundry and housekeeping services, as well as any maintenance and repair work that might arise
Learn More About Respite Care for Caregivers
If your family could benefit from respite care, call a few local senior living communities. Ask to schedule an in-person or virtual tour. It’s the best way to determine if respite care and the community are a good fit for your senior loved one. For families in Michigan and Indiana, we invite you to call the Heritage Senior Living community nearest you to learn more!