What is a Respite Stay?

May 01, 2014

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Whether unexpected or planned, a respite stay at a qualified community can be the perfect solution when it’s necessary to arrange short-term care for seniors.

Many people now realize that a respite stay provides much-needed relief for the growing contingent of caregivers across the country. The MetLife Study of Caregiving Costs to Working Caregivers notes that nearly 10 million adult children over the age of 50 are caring for their aging parents.

Temporary break from demands of caregiving.

Many of those adult children are also parents – if not grandparents – who are still employed on a full- or part-time basis. Their responsibilities as parents and wage earners create the need for help during a variety of circumstances, including time spent away from their loved ones while they travel for business or pleasure.

The need to preserve the physical and mental well-being of family members who tend to loved ones is well-documented. In one recent nationwide study, 11 percent of caregivers reported that care giving had caused their physical health to decline.

Symptoms, and diagnoses, of depression are also widely reported among family caregivers. These and other consequences of care giving clearly indicate the importance of taking a break from the demands of this important and demanding role.

Exposure to lots of amenities and services.

A respite stay is, of course, highly beneficial for individuals who need assistance on various levels. During a respite stay, seniors can enjoy all of the amenities that a quality community provides. Programs and offerings that nurture the mind, body and spirit are at their disposal in one convenient setting.

There are opportunities to engage in memory games and discuss current events; to stay fit by taking exercise classes and participating in wellness-education sessions; and to foster creativity as part of music programs or gardening clubs. A respite stay is also especially helpful for seniors in the transitional stage between rehabilitation after a hospital stay and their return home. During their respite stay, seniors greatly benefit from consistent nutritional meals, supervision and interaction with care stay, medication compliance, a regular schedule and social interaction.

Another benefit of a respite stay is the time it provides the caregiver to prepare a loved one’s home with safety equipment before he or she returns home. The installation of such features as home-security systems, wheelchair ramps and railings along stairways, even single-lever faucets in kitchens and baths, can take a good deal of effort and coordination. Such tasks can be handled more efficiently when a family member is not also acting as a caregiver.

Ideal time to evaluate prospective community.

Finally, a respite stay provides an ideal trial period for the individual who is interested in moving permanently to a community. There is no better way for a senior to appreciate and understand what a campus offers than by personally viewing it. Exposure to the community’s many facets is the ideal way to get a true understanding of the community. So, too, is contact with members of the staff as well as the other temporary and permanent residents.

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