The Gift of Time: Using Respite Care to Help You Manage the Holiday Rush

The Gift of Time: Using Respite Care to Help You Manage the Holiday Rush

  • December 11, 2018

The holiday season can be especially overwhelming for busy family caregivers. An already overbooked schedule can leave little time for a senior’s primary caregiver to relax and celebrate the season with friends and loved ones. One solution to consider is respite. These short-term care services allow caregivers to take a break.  

Different Types of Respite Care

Respite comes in two forms: formal and informal care. Both can be a big help to a caregiver who is struggling to juggle so many responsibilities. 

Informal respite can be as simple as a friend or family member offering to sit with your loved one for a few hours while you do some holiday shopping or attend a party. It gives you the time you need while also providing your senior family member with company to enjoy.

Some churches and synagogues have friendly visitor programs where volunteers pay visits to homebound seniors. They can spend time reading together, playing cards, or watching movies. It’s an informal way of giving the caregiver some time to themselves.

Formal respite care is typically provided by a home care agency, an adult day center, or an assisted living community. This type of respite is an ideal solution when the family caregiver needs a break that lasts for more than a few hours. 

How to Select a Holiday Respite Care Partner 

If you want to attend an out-of-town family holiday party or take a holiday vacation to celebrate the new year, respite care at an assisted living community can be an ideal solution. Here are a few tips for finding one you and your senior loved one will both feel confident in: 

  1. Make a personal visit: Nothing is more important than visiting the assisted living communities you are considering in person. Recommendations and references from people you trust are definitely important, but touring the campus and meeting the staff are vital.
  2. Review state survey results: Assisted living communities are licensed at the state level. While each state has its own regulations, they all regularly inspect communities. Some states post survey results on their website for families to review. If your state doesn’t do this, ask the community for a copy to review.
  3. Clarify the costs: Make sure you understand how much the respite stay will cost. Some communities offer a comprehensive daily fee for respite care. Others have additional care charges based on your loved one’s specific needs. 
  4. Ask about emergencies: Our final tip is to ask the community what happens in the event of an emergency. What happens if your senior loved one experiences a health crisis during their stay? Or if a winter storm knocks out electricity in the area? You’ll have peace of mind knowing for sure that a community is well-prepared.

The teams at Five Star Senior Living communities across the country are happy to answer your respite questions. Call the Five Star community closest to you to learn more about using respite during the holiday season!

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