A: Respite care is an important, though underutilized, resource for caregivers. Defined by Merriam-Webster.com as “a period of temporary delay” or “an interval of rest or relief”, respite provides the opportunity for caregivers to assess, reflect, and rest. As it’s absolutely vital that caregivers take care of themselves (and those in the throes of caregiving often neglect to do so), taking advantage of respite allows caregivers to “take care to give care” (be it for a spouse, parent, sibling, or another relative/friend) and prevent burnout.
Q: Who provides respite care?
A: Although friends and family members can certainly help alleviate the caregiving burden, there are times when you need professional caregiving assistance for an extended period of time (perhaps you’re undergoing surgery, or taking a family vacation). Assisted living communities across the country now offer respite/short-term stay options. Home care agencies also provide respite care. Search for home care agencies/assisted living communities here at SeniorsforLiving.com.
Q: What’s the difference between respite care and a short-term stay?
A: They are essentially the same, but sometimes, caregivers require assistance while they are away for an extended period for business/personal reasons (and not because they need respite). In other cases, caregivers are considering a transition to senior living for their senior loved one. A short-term stay gives caregivers/the care recipient the opportunity to evaluate whether assisted living or Alzheimer’s care is the best option, for example.
- Michelle Seitzer