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What is respite care for seniors?

What is respite care for seniors?

Caregiving for an elderly loved one is an act of love and affection and can be rewarding for most of us. However, with the growing demands of other aspects of our life, such as work, family, and social life, we sometimes need a break from this responsibility. This is where respite care comes in.

Respite care is considered as temporary help from other service providers to relieve the original caregivers of their duties. If you have been taking care of your parents or grandparents for a while now and need a break, this blog will help you understand more about respite care. Moreover, it can open your eyes to the possibilities of having a short rest from your responsibilities as a caregiver. 

Why is there a need for respite care?

Several studies have shown that family members or friends who act as caregivers for the elderly are usually motivated by commitment and love. These caregivers see caregiving as a duty to help the elderly cope with physical and mental changes they experience as they age.

However, it is also a fact that caregiving is a difficult job without the needed break. The intense labor it takes in caregiving is often overlooked and eventually takes a toll on the caregiver’s physical and mental health. So, having a break is essential to keep your body and mind stable throughout your caregiving duties.

Respite care is an excellent option if you feel drained and empty and need to revitalize to continue your caregiving duties. While respite care is present, it is sometimes not considered due to reasons such as feelings of shame and guilt for getting help and, most of the time, due to financial restraints.

But at the end of the day, how can you expect to take care of the person you chose to give care to when you are not taking care of your own health? Taking a break is needed, especially if it will help you unload the burden of doing multiple tasks at once. If it is good for you, then it will also be good for the senior.

In fact, studies show that respite care has been improving the lives of both the caregiver and the care receiver. Respite care is said to have the following benefits:

  • Reduced depression rates
  • Lower stress levels
  • Improved relationship between care receiver and caregiver
  • Better financial standing for the caregivers
  • Fewer arguments involving behavior with the care receivers

Also, you do not have to wait until you are entirely drained before you seek respite care. You can use these services if you want to attend social gatherings, run other errands, work, or even take a vacation.

Different types of respite care

One of the best things that respite care can offer is its versatility. Respite care can be provided during scheduled breaks or emergencies. This type of caregiving adapts well to your sense of urgency. Below, we will discuss the three types of respite care.


Assisted living facilities and nursing homes usually offer respite care services. Your loved one can stay for some time– be it a few hours to several weeks. So if you need respite care services within similar periods, facility-based service is a plausible option.


In this type of respite care, you talk with someone to come to where the elderly live, and they will perform their services there. If compared with younger counterparts, it is like having a nanny to take care of your child in the meantime.

A home-based respite care provider can also serve as a companion for the senior care receiver. They can also be a nursing assistant, a home health aide, or a registered nurse in case the elderly needs medical assistance.


You must be familiar with daycare for preschoolers. Well, the elderly also have their own! Adult daycares, community groups, and several religious organizations offer socialization periods to the elderly by allowing them to participate in different activities during their caregivers’ breaks. 

It is not the typical respite care where someone is hired to take care of the elderly. This type of respite care focuses on bringing other people, primarily fellow seniors, to the elderly to provide them with social opportunities. Still, adult daycares are supervised by respite care providers in a facility.

Deciding on the type of respite care to avail for your loved one

Presented above are different options for respite care. Thus, it is possible to choose a certain type of respite care for certain situations by having choices.

For example, let us consider an elderly lady who is her husband’s primary caregiver with dementia. In case she wants to vacuum their house, yet the husband gets upset with the vacuum noise, he could go to a community-based respite care facility such as adult daycare. Suppose she wants to drink tea with friends, she can hire a home-based respite care provider to take care of her husband while she is away for a short time. And if she wants to attend a grandchild’s awarding ceremony, her husband could stay in a nursing home or assisted living facility for respite care.

To cut it short, the elderly wife can benefit from respite care in a way that she gets to keep her social circle, can do household tasks with ease, and maintain good ties with her kin.

Here are some questions that you may ask yourself if you find yourself having difficulties in choosing a respite care plan:

  • How long do you need respite care?
  • Are you comfortable with a respite care provider coming to your home?
  • How much is your budget for these services?
  • Will you need respite care regularly?
  • Will you need additional assistance, such as medical care or housekeeping?
  • Does the care receiver have mobility issues? Will the respite care provider need to drive for your loved one?
  • Does the care receiver need more social connection? Are they getting enough physical activities?

Let us take care of your loved one!

There is a reason why we choose to take care of our loved ones despite the challenges it may bring to our daily lives. Despite being motivated to take care of them, we sometimes need to step back and breathe.

It is an essential part of caregiving, and we should always consider this option. Remember, it would be more challenging to care for a loved one if you are tired and drained. Let Vital Home Health do the caregiving duties for you, even for a while. You deserve to breathe from time to time. Contact us now!

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