Senior man talking with a caregiver outside on bench.
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Respite Care

Respite care is short-term or temporary care which provides seniors with social engagement and activities while also offering caregivers a break. It can be provided at home, at an adult daycare center, or in a residential community.

Table of Contents

What Is a Respite Care Community?

Respite care is short-term or temporary care provided to seniors within an assisted living community. This type of care offers much-needed breaks from the physical and emotional demands of regularly caring for someone else. It also allows the senior to participate in new activities and to socialize with others. 

The length of stay can vary based on the individual facility, and on the needs of the caregiver. For example, a caregiver may utilize this solution for a couple of days, during a week-long vacation, or even for months at a time. Some families find it helpful to try a respite care stay while considering a more permanent move to an assisted living community.

Respite Care Beyond the Community

Respite care can also be provided in the home through home care or in an adult day service, each with its own specific benefits:

  • Home Respite Care: A temporary caregiver assists the patient at home with daily tasks, provides activities and exercise, and offers companionship. This allows the senior to remain in a familiar setting, an important consideration if the individual lives with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Home respite care is generally provided by a home healthcare agency, volunteers, or an individual hired by the family.
  • Adult Day Care Center: These centers provide professional care for part or all of the day to seniors. This type of respite care allows seniors to socialize with others, and to participate in activities such as arts and crafts, games, and exercise. Meals and snacks are typically provided, and seniors receive assistance with tasks like toileting and medication administration, if needed. They are a good source of care for individuals who still maintain a moderate level of functionality, but still need care at all times. Adult day care centers usually only operate during daytime hours.

What to Expect from a Respite Care Community

Seniors receiving respite care in a residential program get the same type of assistance with daily tasks that they would be given in assisted living, only on a short-term basis. These include:

  • Meals and accommodations
  • Assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, grooming, dressing, and medication administration
  • Activities and social engagement with fellow residents
  • Around-the-clock security

Respite care residents may live in a small apartment, or in a shared bedroom with a bathroom.

Cost of a Respite Care Community

The cost of Respite Care can vary greatly among various assisted living communities. These factors are often based on:

  • Community location
  • Location of the residence within the community
  • Amenities
  • Type and size of residence
  • Staff ratio

According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey, the National Daily Median cost of assisted living care in the United States is $141. But, most communities will charge a type of premium for a shorter term stay.

For information on the cost of assisted living in your area, visit one of the links below:

Self care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.

– Katie Reed