Caring for an aging loved one is meaningful, rewarding, and honorable work. But, it can sometimes be exhausting and overwhelming, especially if you have other responsibilities, like a job, a home, a spouse, or children.
Acting as the primary caregiver usually begins with minor tasks but can quickly escalate into a full-time commitment. Long-term caregivers suffer from fatigue, stress, illness, and burnout. Respite care services provide caregivers with a well-deserved break and an opportunity to refuel.
But respite care isn’t just good for caregivers; it also offers seniors needing care many benefits, such as:
- An opportunity to develop relationships outside of the family members they live with
- A change of scenery and a chance to try new activities
- An opportunity to ease feelings of guilt
- A chance to try out a new community before committing to a move
What Is Respite Care?
Respite care is short-term senior care that fills in the gaps left by an absence of a full-time caregiver. It can last a few hours, a few days, or even a few weeks, and it usually consists of either in-home care or a brief stay in a care community, depending on the individual’s needs.
Respite care can be arranged for a variety of reasons, including:
- Helping a loved one recover from an injury when they need more help than you can give
- Allowing a loved one “test out” assisted living if they’re unsure how they’ll adapt
- Giving you a chance to rest or seek assistance if you notice signs of stress or exhaustion in yourself
- Getting your loved one specialized care if they’re transferring from hospital to home after surgery or a medical stay
Caring for someone else is a 24-hour job. You have to take care of your own needs before you can take care of someone else (which is totally alright!).
This is where respite care can come in handy. Many people are unaware that their local senior living communities offer short-term respite care.
New Relationships Form in Respite Care
While some family caregivers experience initial guilt about leaving their loved ones with others, many seniors experience feelings of isolation at home. Even those who have close, frequent contact with family members can experience a shrinking of their social circles.
While these emotions are normal, seniors whose families invest in respite care can gain new and lasting friendships.
When you hear about all of your loved one’s adventures, you’ll feel comfortable leaving them in respite care with their new friends. In fact, your loved one may even ask when you’ll take your next break because they enjoyed the opportunity to socialize with someone new.
A Change of Scenery
Moving your loved one to a senior living community for a few days or weeks can provide a breath of fresh air or a change of scenery, preventing boredom. Seniors in respite care can enjoy healthy meals and participate in cognitively stimulating activities during the day.
They may choose to engage in physical activities that improve their overall range of motion or mobility. Many care communities provide scheduled outings for their residents, which provide enrichment they may not get as often at home.
Easing Feelings of Guilt
Respite care can also help relieve the guilt that seniors experience while being cared for by others. Your senior loved one is probably aware of all the areas of your life that pull your attention, which may make them feel like a burden.
This guilt affects both seniors and their caregivers, but respite care can offer some relief.
Respite care allows you to care for yourself and your other family members, do your job, and recharge, knowing that your loved one is receiving quality care from a team of professionals.
It can also alleviate any feelings your loved one may have about being a burden to you because you will no longer be their sole provider of care.
Respite Care at Villa De Anza
Planning for respite care begins with an assessment with our team of experts. We’ll talk with you and your family member to determine their length of stay based on what your loved one needs out of respite care to ensure you receive appropriate support and your loved one continues to receive the best care.
Villa De Anza is a warm and welcoming community you can trust to provide a positive and fun experience for your loved one. Here, they can meet new people and enjoy a change of pace with our fun activities geared toward seniors. Call us and schedule a visit if you have questions about respite care. We’re here to help!