Caring for an elderly loved one can be a 24/7 job. While done from a place of love, it can still be a draining task that may take a toll on both the caregiver and senior alike. Respite care offers professional, reliable support to give you both a revitalizing break.
Think of it like any healthy habit — we all benefit from exercise, restful sleep, and a good diet. Those three things can improve our overall health, making us stronger and enabling us to focus more efficiently on the task at hand. A respite stay for the senior loved one in your life can be thought of as a little vacation from your regular routine which, over time, like all healthy habits, helps to build internal strength and can give our mind and bodies a chance to rest and recuperate.
What is Respite Care?
Essentially, the definition of respite care is a short-term stay at a senior living community, like Verve. Respite care offers professional care for seniors, which includes socialization and life enrichment, while providing their primary caregiver a chance to restore energy.
Caring for someone elderly or someone who is unwell can be overwhelming day-in and day-out. Caregivers can start to suffer from exhaustion both mentally and physically, feel isolated from their personal life, and become burned out.
Respite care is a great opportunity to restore balance back into not only your life, but your senior loved one’s life, too.
Types of Respite Care
Respite care is useful in situations where the senior resides in the home of the caregiver full-time, or during transitional periods. Occasionally, the caregiver may need to leave for an extended period of time, or simply need a short break for themselves. Alternatively, the senior may need some extra professional support if they’ve just been released from the hospital and are re-adjusting to life at home while they heal.
In each of these situations, healthcare from in-home services or a respite stay at a local senior’s home are good options. In the case of a stay at a senior living community such as Verve, we’ll explore the many additional benefits to both the caregiver and the senior that go beyond the physical.
How Respite Care Can Improve Your Peace of Mind
Taking time away for yourself as a caregiver may feel self-indulgent or cause feelings of guilt at times, however, it’s important to remember that practicing self-care benefits not only you, but everyone else in your life. Giving your mind and body a break from your usual day-to-day demands will reinforce peace of mind that your senior loved one is safe and comfortable in a professional, trustworthy environment. When you return, you’ll be able to interact with a fresh perspective and understanding. Sometimes, just knowing that scheduled relief is coming — much like a planned vacation — makes all the difference in your positive emotional health.
The Benefits of Respite Care
- PERSONALIZED SUPPORT
Seniors in respite care receive personalized support from professional, caring staff. Verve’s whole-body wellbeing approach ensures we provide the seniors in our care with purposeful and compassionate support however they need it. For seniors with cognitive decline, this kind of support also offers caregivers the peace of mind to enjoy their well-deserved break, knowing their loved one is in a safe, comfortable space.
- ENERGY & RENEWED HAPPINESS
Caregivers are afforded the freedom to re-engage with their own lives while their senior loved ones are in respite care. This break allows for rest, relaxation, and the chance to do the things you love that you might not otherwise have the time for!
Respite also offers seniors another component of aging gracefully because while we never stop growing older, this kind of care provides the environment and stimulation that improves cognitive health and thus slows age-related conditions.
- SPACE AND PERSPECTIVE
Re-energizing your life by doing something that brings you joy has the added benefits of a decreased heart rate and elevated mood. By re-establishing your sense of self by taking the occasional opportunity to do what you love, you become better equipped to handle the rest of your life with a better perspective. Taking that space to gain understanding can even help you to be more present for the senior loved one in your care.
- SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT
Interacting with peers in a senior living community during a respite stay is a huge benefit to seniors. Just as much as you as the caregiver might need the break, your loved one does, too!
Having the chance to participate in community-focused activities can stave off feelings of isolation in seniors, as well as giving them an opportunity to reset by creating new connections and experiences.
- PARTICIPATION IN ACTIVITIES
Verve’s exceptional Health & Wellness programs and amenities are designed to restore purpose and passion into the lives of our seniors. This can include activities to improve cognitive and social abilities, as well as physical fitness — all organized by a team of professionals to be safe, fun, and entertaining.
- STRESS RELIEF
Respite care is a proven stress-reliever that can also reduce levels of anger and depression in caregivers, and for all of the reasons stated above, actually improve overall wellbeing.
How to Get Started with Respite Care at Verve
As much stress as you experience as a caregiver, the senior in your care can see and feel this. You may feel guilty about booking them into a respite stay, but they also feel guilt and anxiety over the stress they can cause you. Open, honest conversation is a good starting place!
If you both go in knowing that respite care is something like a “vacation” and not a permanent change, trust and comfort will be established from there, opening both of you up to all of the positive possibilities that can come out of it!
Conversely, perhaps the senior in your care is nearing the age where more support is required.. A respite stay is an excellent way to test the waters by getting a feel for the senior living community, your loved one’s level of comfort, as well as your own. It’s a good way to try the amenities and services, experience the suites, and connect with the community. That way, when it comes time to make the decision to permanently move out, both of you will already be prepared with all of the information you need!
The Bottom Line
It is absolutely, one-hundred percent normal to have nervous feelings associated with embarking on a respite stay, whether you are the caregiver or the senior. As a caregiver, you’re used to “doing it all”, so we’re here to provide the help that the both of you likely need.
Interested in a respite stay for a senior loved one or yourself? Contact us today to get the process started with one of our Health & Wellness managers at your local Verve community. We look forward to meeting you!