Navigating the Need: Understanding Respite Care Options for Seniors and Caregivers

Photo of a senior female with a nurse

When a loved one needs extra help to thrive at home, family members are often the first to step up. Over time, however, caregiving can take a toll on caregivers, many of whom also have their own homes, families and jobs to manage. This can cause caregiver burnout which, according to the my.clevelandclinic.org article “Caregiver Burnout,” affects more than 60% of caregivers. But there is an easy solution — respite care — which gives caregivers a break while ensuring the health and safety of a senior loved one.

What is respite care?

Respite care is a type of short-term care that provides oversight for a senior while their caregiver takes time off. It can be provided by family or hired caregivers for short periods or in adult day-care centers, but it can also be full-time care for weeks or months in a senior living community like Sinceri Senior Living. As noted in the forbes.com article, “What Is Respite Care?” full-time respite care is very similar to assisted living or memory care in that residents have all the services and amenities of the community on hand while families have peace of mind knowing their loved one is safe and sound.

What are the benefits of respite care for seniors?

Although families may not realize it, respite care offers much more than care for seniors who need daily assistance. One of the most important benefits is socialization, something that can be in short supply at home and lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. In respite care, residents can make new friends, participate in fun and engaging activities and events and ward off the negative health effects described in the cdc.gov article, “Health Risks of Social Isolation and Loneliness.”

Another benefit of respite care is excellent nutrition, even for those on special diets. According to the healthline.com article, “How Your Nutritional Needs Change as You Age,” the dietary needs of seniors are different from those of younger people so top senior living communities make senior nutrition a priority. Each meal is prepared from fresh ingredients and served in a community dining room where no one has to be alone and everyone can enjoy eating in the company of friends.

Also important is the opportunity for families and seniors to experience a senior living community firsthand. Spending time in a community can shed light on whether or not it will be a good fit, should the need arise in the future.

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What are the benefits of respite care for caregivers?

Caregivers often happily take on caregiving, not realizing how much it entails. But as more and more care is required, caregivers may let self-care take a back seat and end up needing care themselves. Respite care offers the time and freedom necessary for caregivers to look after their own health and well-being, catch up on doctor and dentist appointments, renew friendships, spend more time with kids and spouses, and take a well-earned vacation. For caregivers who also have jobs, respite care is a great option when travel is required, a big project is on the table, or they just need the time to concentrate on the work at hand.

Respite care is also a good option for those who care for someone with dementia, which can be an especially demanding job. In respite care, seniors with memory loss receive excellent care as well as the necessary oversight and security they need 24/7/365. Learn more about how respite care can help in the alz.org article, “Respite Care.”

The cost of respite care versus in-home care

Discussions of respite care may also include the possibility of hiring an in-home caregiver. While this is an option it may also be more expensive than respite care in senior living. According to the “Genworth 2023 Cost of Care Survey,” the national hourly median cost for a home health aide is $33.00 which adds up to $2,860 for 20 hours per month, $5,720 for 40 hours per month or $24,024 per month for 24-hour round-the clock-care. These costs have continued to escalate. In 2022 the national median rate was $30, a year-over-year change of 7.14%.

On the other hand, the national median monthly cost for 24-hour round-the-clock assisted living is $5,350, a year-over-year change of just 1.36% from the 2022 monthly rate of $5,278. This includes care as well as meals, entertainment, social activities, and more. Although there may be a one-time fee for respite care, the overall costs often come in well below in-home care.

Respite care can be a godsend for caregivers and their families but also for seniors who want a life that is more fulfilling and less of a burden on families and friends. To learn more about respite care at Sinceri Senior Living contact us today and schedule a tour. Find out more about assisted living communities: check out our free guide, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted Living.

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