Organizing respite care can be a confusing and frustrating process. Not only is it difficult to decide which type of respite care to use, but couple that with the emotions that are also involved.

Respite care is used for those needing a break from caring for a loved one with a condition where they can’t be left alone.

What is Respite Care?

According to the National Institute on Aging, the definition of respite care is as follows: Respite care provides short-term relief for primary caregivers. It can be arranged for just an afternoon or for several days or weeks. Care can be provided at home, in a healthcare facility, or at an adult day center. 

Alex Abramson, a gerontologist and spokesperson for Comfort Keepers, notes that respite care is “the transfer of primary caregiving responsibilities to another person or agency.” Respite care means temporarily handing over responsibilities to an informal caregiver, such as a family member or friend. Other times, the primary caregiver works with an organization to set up respite care with a professional.

There are multiple reasons that respite care is needed. The following are examples of why respite care may be needed:

  • Primary caregiver is experiencing caregiver burnout.
  • Primary caregiver needs to go out of town. Usually a spouse, or their adult children.
  • Primary caregiver needs to get a procedure done and will be in the hospital, or need care of their own after minor surgery.
  • Primary caregiver gets sick, and aren’t strong enough to provide adequate care.
  • The one being cared for has declined, and the primary caregiver isn’t able to care for that individual anymore. A short-term solution is needed.

Options for Respite Care:

When looking for options for respite care, it is less stressful when thought about a head of time. Don’t wait until an emergency comes up to have a plan. Coming to the conclusion that respite care is needed, is the hardest decision to make. As a caregiver to your family, no one is going to care for your loved one as well as you. Whomever is chosen to provide respite care should be sensitive to that, and patiently explain the accommodations and services that will be provided.

Assisted livings, home health agencies/nurse registries, and adult day cares are often asked about respite services. Every situation is different, but the overall care and safety is what will be provided. Assisted livings are one option. Policies were different during the height of COVID, but are slowly getting back to pre COVID policies. A COVID test may be required before the individual can “move in”. Most facilities require 1 week of respite care. Their staff needs doctors orders for medications to be given, the medication needs to be given to the facility, and staff briefed on their short term guest.

An individual needing care that has Alzheimer’s or another cognitive impairment diagnosis, will be cared for in the Memory Care section of the community. Memory care is locked for the safety of the residents it cares for. Wandering due to cognitive decline is common.  If the individual needing respite care wanders, it is very important information for the provider to know. It is also important for them to tell you the daily routine.

Keeping the individual that needs care at home is another option. Most individuals want to remain in their home and not go to a strange place while their caregiver is away or sick themselves. A home health company can provide a CNA or HHA trained in working with those at home. When communicating with the company providing care in the home, be sure to mention if there are pets, or smoking to better match you with the right caregiver.  Our goal is to make it a seamless process and assist everyone involved with dignity and respect. Paradise Home Health Care provides respite care on a live-in or hourly rate basis. We understand how difficult it is to care for a loved one, or close friend. Whether they are at home or in an independent/assisted/memory care community. Organizing respite care can seem like an emotional rollercoaster.

Respite Care Cost:

The cost associated with respite care depends on where and how long care is needed. An assisted living facility usually has respite care rates that are different from their residents that have their own apartment and call that community home. The community should be able to tell you at least a ballpark quote. Staying in their home is also a popular option. Rates will vary based on how long and the number of hours per day. Several families have reached out to organize respite care a head of time, in case it is needed. If a situation happens last minute, we already have the required paperwork filled out, and can focus on getting the individual a caregiver that meets their needs.