Nowadays, taking care of an older loved one outside of a senior care facility has become essential. At the height of the global pandemic, a lot of people chose to move their loved ones either closer to or back into their own homes. This was particularly driven by the fact that older adults are among the most vulnerable groups against the virus.
Additionally, it’s been reported that over 53 million adults in the country also provide unpaid care to an individual aged 50 or above. Long-term caregiving for the elderly can prove to have certain burdens along with it—physically, emotionally, and even economically. Added to the fact that levels of stress and anxiety have been increasing over the past year, and it can be too much to handle for you and your loved one.
Take a Break
Primary caregivers have been experiencing major burnouts recently. Taking care of your personal wellness should especially be a top priority given the current circumstances. However, this shouldn’t necessarily come at the expense of your loved one’s wellness as well. To reach a compromise between the two, a lot of people have been considering respite care services.
Respite care is a short-term type of aid that essentially allows a full-time caregiver to have someone fill in when they need to take a break or are unable to provide the necessary assistance. When looking into this type of senior care, you should also take into consideration the different options that are available and suitable for your needs and your loved one’s needs.
Within the Comfort Zone
An in-home respite care program will usually lead you to invite a care professional, or even a family member or friend, to provide assistance for your loved one within an environment that they feel comfortable in. This is great, for instance, if you have a business trip to attend to and you’re expecting to be away for a few days. It also offers better maintenance of your loved one’s security and convenience.
An External Facility
There are also respite daycare facilities, which function similarly to senior living communities but you don’t necessarily have to leave your loved one for an extended period. Oftentimes, these facilities will also have different day programs for your loved one to take part in. If you simply need a couple of hours to catch up on other responsibilities or to take a break, this option should be able to allow you to do so.
For Your Loved One
In most cases, respite care is often regarded as being beneficial for the wellness of primary caregivers alone. However, should you consider getting into a respite care program, it will also present plenty of benefits for your older loved one.
Putting your loved ones in respite care will give them the opportunity to meet and interact with new people, which could eventually lead to new friendships. This is crucial, especially for older adults, because it can boost their health overall.
Social interactions have been noted to improve an older adult’s mental and emotional health. Fostering more friendships can also encourage them to get out of the house more, which could also be good for their physical health.
In instances where respite care is conducted in an external facility, it could also be a good chance for your loved one to test out if they would enjoy this type of environment. A lot of older adults necessarily don’t like the idea of senior living communities because they have different perceptions of how it functions.
Essentially, you should consider respite care if you have plans of putting your loved one into a similar type of living arrangement down the line. It’s a good way to slowly introduce them to assisted living while providing an enjoyable experience that won’t put them off.
Switch It Up
Along with getting to interact with a new set of people, it will also allow your loved one to have a necessary change of pace. More so, since their life can turn out to be quite monotonous if they’re confined to seeing the same people and doing the same things almost daily. A change in their lifestyle can lead to open more and better opportunities that they might not have considered in the past.
Ultimately, respite care is the best avenue for you to strike that delicate balance between accommodating your personal wellness and your loved one’s wellness. Certain respite programs will also specialize in specific areas, so make sure you choose the appropriate type of care that your loved one will need as well.