Among the stresses involved in caregiving is the issue of “constant-ness.” Sometimes, a caregiver needs to take care of something else in his or her own life, needs to travel, or just needs a break. Other than getting help from family or friends, there are two primary ways to address the need for getting more help with full-time home-based care. One is long-term adult day care which would take responsibility for an elderly person for some part of every week day. The other is temporary respite care for a short time. Usually, respite care is offered by assisted living facilities or memory care facilities.
Elderly Day Care
Adult day care is offered to seniors up to five days a week with some combination of the following services:
Transportation – Typically, door to door service is offered so that transportation to and from the center is easy.
Meals – usually meals and snacks are covered while the person is at the center.
Basic Medical Assistance – routine medication administration or blood sugar levels can be checked while at the center.
Activities – from crafts and games to social activities and special trips – day care centers offer things to stimulate and occupy the participants.
Therapeutic Services – sometimes, a center is focused on a particular issue like cognitive challenges or a certain disease. Depending on the type of populations served, there may be some specialized services like speech or occupational therapy.
Activities for Seniors
Most Adult day care centers allow you to decide how often a person can come to the center – usually up to 5 days a week. Find a center near you by contacting your local Area Agency on Aging at 800-677-1116 or going online at the National Adult Day Services Association Website where you will find more information and wonderful checklists for selecting a day care center.
Respite Care for Caregivers
Most assisted living facilities offer temporary care for elderly people. These services are particularly valuable if a caregiver really needs a break because they offer 24/7 supervision and care. Respite care can also help if a caregiver needs to focus on work, travel, or has an illness of her own. And some people use this type of temporary care after a hospitalization or illness when there is a need for more round the clock care but recovery and a return to independent living is anticipated.
The services of respite care are quite similar to the services that are provided for long-term members of the facility and include:
The cost of this type of service varies from facility to facility in a range of $100-$250 per day - and is sometimes covered if a person has long-term care insurance. Medicare will often pay for a short-term stay after a hospitalization or surgery.
Other Types of Respite Care
Of course, another source of respite would be other family members or a short-term hiring of a visiting nurse or aid. No matter what type of respite care you are looking for, it is most important to recognize the need for one when you need it! Trying to do it all alone when you are becoming fatigued or ill yourself is not a good option obviously. So, check in with yourself often to make sure you are taking good care of yourself so you can recognize when things are not going well.
Self-Care for Caregivers