Although caring for loved ones can be rewarding, there comes a time when it’s best to explore other options. Adult children or spouses tasked with the role of a caregiver are responsible for themselves, their families, and their caregiving duties. When the inevitable caregiver burnout arises, a great way to take a break and give community living a trial run is through respite care.
What is Respite Care?
Respite care is a short-term solution that gives weary caregivers time to rest. Instead of personalized assistance from a family member, seniors in respite care receive help from professionals. It’s also a valuable option for seniors to receive care during recovery, whether from an injury or illness.
Adult children and spouses can be confident that their loved ones are in good hands, whether they wish to take a vacation, focus on personal matters, or need a break. Although several types of respite care exist, such as in-home services or adult day care, those within assisted living communities live an enriching lifestyle that others can’t provide.
Seniors in respite care at an assisted living community can take advantage of all the same activities and amenities as long-term residents, such as:
- A private living space
- Transportation services
- Well-balanced, nutritious meals
- 24/7 staff support
- Emergency call pendants
- Enriching activities and amenities
Respite care can not only give caregivers a break they deserve, but it can also serve as a test run for long-term assisted living. Seniors anxious about moving can get a feel for how their new life will look and all the potential it can bring. Compassionate staff supports each respite care recipient, giving them the independence they seek and introducing them to long-term residents with similar interests.
Respite Care Benefits
Seniors in respite care receive services catered to their individual needs. Whether they need assistance with everyday tasks or crave friendship, caring staff available 24/7 can help. Benefits of respite care include:
- Access to activities and amenities: Short-term residents have access to the same community lifestyle events and amenities as those staying for the long term.
- Caregivers receive a well-deserved break: Taking on the additional responsibilities that come with caring for a senior loved one can quickly become overwhelming. Respite care allows you to take a break.
- Trial run: An unspoken benefit of respite care is the ability to utilize it with hopes of transitioning to a permanent assisted living situation.
- Flexibility: Respite care services can be used on an as-needed basis. If your loved one wasn’t sure about the idea of a permanent stay, you could always try again later.
How to Prepare for Assisted Living Respite Care
No two assisted living respite care programs are created equal. You must take the decision seriously when leveraging respite care to ease your loved one’s way into a long-term assisted living situation. To help your loved one become more comfortable, consider the following:
- Emphasize that it’s temporary: Since respite care in its very nature is short-term, remind your loved one that their stay is brief. Try referring to it as a trial stay, and let them know that it only has to be permanent if they want it to be.
- Let them choose: Another way to ease anxiety is to let your parents or spouse decide where they stay. Keep them involved in the decision-making process, inviting them on tours and ensuring they ask any questions they may have.
- Align their stay with specific activities: You can carefully time their trial stay according to the assisted living community’s calendar. For instance, if you notice an upcoming event that piques their interest, schedule their visit for that time so they can see everything community living has to offer.
- Pack their favorite things: Decorate their living space with photos or include their tablet to make the temporary stay feel like home.
- Get the staff involved: Assisted living community staff members aim to ensure every resident receives the care they need and lives an active lifestyle. When you inform the staff of your wishes to transition into a long-term situation, they will do whatever possible to make your parents or spouse see all the benefits of community living, such as introducing them to other residents with similar interests.
How to Pay for Respite Care
Medicare or other private insurance plans don’t cover most respite care services. Many families pay for respite services out-of-pocket, but financial assistance is available for those who qualify.
- Veterans benefits: Seniors already receiving Veterans Affairs pension benefits may also be eligible for financial assistance through the Aid and Attendance benefit. Those who qualify are eligible for up to 30 days of short-term care stay per calendar year that must be scheduled in advance. Many senior living communities, such as Sundale Senior Living, can connect you with a Veterans Affairs Aid and Attendance benefit contact who will help you through the process.
- Long-term care insurance: Since respite care is short-term, a private policy like long-term care insurance won’t cover your loved one’s stay. However, every plan differs, so be sure to look everything over. The insurance does cover permanent residence if assisted living is the right fit.
- Family resources: Often, families come together and pitch in a dollar amount to cover their loved one’s short-term stay.
It’s important to note that many assisted living communities offering respite care accept various payment methods. For example, at Sundale Senior Living in Huntsville, TX, residents can combine different forms of payment to reach the total amount. Our team can also sit with you and complete a financial worksheet together.
Why Choose Sundale’s Temporary Assisted Living?
Sundale Senior Living offers various services and amenities to meet the needs of our residents. It’s our goal that residents retain their independence yet have access to support when needed. Seniors that choose Sundale for temporary assisted living receive the following benefits plus more:
- Companionship: Independent seniors longing for relationships can form bonds with our compassionate staff members and other residents.
- Assistance: Those needing support from staff receive the help they need based on an initial assessment.
- Apartment living: We offer several apartment-style floor plans to choose from that give seniors the independence they crave.
- Amenities: Dedicated professionals handle laundry, housekeeping, and property maintenance.
- Meals: Well-balanced, nutritious meal options inspired by on-site chefs help ensure seniors remain healthy and energized.
- Transportation: Residents can go wherever, from medical appointments or a local park, with reliable transportation services.
- Enriching activities: Residents decide what activities are held and when. The events calendar includes enriching activities, from nail spa days to movie nights.