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Vacation Planning For Family Care Givers: Respite Care

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Taking time for yourself is vital for your personal health, especially if you are a full-time caregiver for an elderly parent or disabled family member. Fortunately, with short-term respite care, your loved one can receive the care they need while you take the break you deserve.

What Is Respite Care?

Many think of a retirement community as a long-term living option, so they are completely unaware that many communities also welcome short stays. Retirement villages, assisted living communities, and senior living facilities all offer respite care.

During your loved one's stay, they will have 24-hour access to nurses and health care aides that will provide for their daily needs. They will also receive all the same care and benefits of a full-time community resident. Stays can be booked for just a few days to several weeks.

Care Options

When it comes to using respite care, you have two main options:

  1. Book a facility close to home. This option works well if your family member can't travel long distances, or if you are visiting a location that isn't conductive to their health.
  2. Check into a facility near your vacation destination. Choose this option if you would like your family member to join in on some vacation activities with the rest of the family

If you choose the second option, check to see if the facility offers any vacation services. Some communities offer vacation services, which provides you with an aid that can accompany you to certain events. With trained help, your loved may be able to enjoy a day at the beach or another activity that would otherwise be impossible. The staff may also be able to help you plan your itinerary or find services that are best-suited to your loved one's abilities and needs. This includes making travel arrangements for those with limited to no mobility.

A Few Considerations

Before booking a stay at a facility offering respite services, take the time to visit location and interview the staff. A few things to look for include:

  • Are there medical staff or trained nurses onsite at all times?
  • Is the staff familiar and do they have experience with your loved one's condition.
  • What social activities are there and are short-term visitors allowed to participate?
  • Will your loved one have a private room?
  • How is the food? Is the dining in a community setting or in the room? Will there be menu choices or a set menu?
  • Are therapy services provided for those that require physical or occupational therapy?
  • How much freedom is offered? Are there gardens or outdoor areas to explore, or will your loved one need to be accompanied when they leave their room?
  • What are the emergency procedures at the facility?

Knowing that your loved one is in safe and caring hands will help you enjoy your vacation, so that you will be rested and rejuvenated upon your return. A period of rest is necessary if you are to continue providing the best care for your charge.