Respite Homes: Offering Caregivers a Needed Break

Today, there are more people than ever taking care of their elderly parents or loved ones. The day-to-day stress this can put on an individual can take its toll after a while.

Respite homes offer a way for primary caregivers to safely take a break from caring for their loved one and allow the senior to enjoy structured activities outside the home with others of similar age and conditions.

Respite care can be given in the home or outside the home in facilities often called adult day care, but more appropriately known as respite homes.

Who Should Consider Respite Homes?

Seniors who still maintain at least a moderate level of mental and physical functionality are good candidates to consider respite homes for their particular needs.

Seniors who may need care during the day while their primary caregiver is at work are also among those who should give respites homes strong consideration.

Services Provided by Respite Homes

Respite homes generally do not offer medical services, but they do provide care for seniors during the day and, at some facilities, overnight. Respite homes try to engage seniors in life-enriching activities such as:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Sing-alongs
  • Social activities
  • Low-impact exercises

These activities are intended to keep the senior active both mentally and physically. Meals and snacks are also provided to seniors depending on how long they are in the care of the respite home.

Types of Respite Homes

Some respite homes also give more specialized care to their guests. There are facilities that specialize in physical and occupational therapy.

Physical therapy respite homes are geared towards seniors whose movements are restricted by age or illness. Exercises are designed to increase their range of motion, strength and endurance.

Occupational therapy respite homes work on improving a senior’s ability to do routine daily tasks such as putting on clothes or taking a bath. This focuses on interactive activities dealing with motor skills and cognitive ability.

Paying for Respite Care

The most common way to pay for care at respite homes is through personal savings, however, there are other financial resources available to cover the costs of respite care, including:

  • Long-term care insurance – certain policies may provide funding for respite care up to specific time or dollar limits.
  • Medicaid – may provide waivers to help offset costs for qualifying individuals in specific states.
  • Veterans’ benefits – provide funds for stays in respite homes for up to 30 days per year for qualified veterans.

No matter what the cost, respite homes are a wonderful option for caregivers and seniors who only need short-term care options.

Written by senior housing staff writer.