5 Types of Respite Care

When you care for an elderly loved one, you may want to look at some of the different types of respite care that are available to you. Caring for someone with limited mobility, memory problems or serious medical conditions can put a lot of stress on you and cause problems at home and at work. Respite care lets you take a break and leave your loved ones in the capable hands of someone else.

Home Health Aides

One of the more basic types of respite care is something called personal care or in-home care. You can hire home health aides who have experience caring for older people. They will come into your home and take care of that individual while you do work around the house or spend the day at work. Some home health aides are more like personal assistants. They can help bathe that person, make sure the patient eats and generally act as a companion. Other aides go through more training and can dispense medications and provide more professional help.

Adult Day Care

If you need a short break in the middle of a busy day, or you need to work outside of the home, you can sign your loved one up for adult day care. These programs provide activities specifically designed for older people. They might play board games, participate in arts and crafts classes and even take day trips to local attractions. Adult day care centers can also dispense medications, make sure that your loved one eats properly and arrange for doctors’ visits.

Residential Care Homes

Some people worry that caring for elderly loved ones will limit what they can do. As much as you love your parent, you probably want to take a break every now and then. When you want to take the kids on vacation, you need to spend a night away from home on a business trip or you and your spouse want to celebrate your anniversary away from home for a few days, you can look for the types of respite care that offer long-term care. Residential care homes and facilities accept patients who need to spend one night, several nights or more than a month in that facility. Your loved one may have his or her own bedroom or share a room with another patient.

Co-Op Programs

Barbara Kate Repa suggests looking into co-op programs. These programs let you essentially share in the responsibility of caring for elderly loved ones with your friends and neighbors. Every person who participates in the co-op agrees to share time watching over the loved ones of others. If your neighbor takes care of your father for the night, you’ll take care of the neighbor’s mother on another night. You can even arrange for day care programs that let one person in your neighborhood care for a group of elderly people one day before switching off with another person in your group.

Skilled Nursing Centers

One of the other types of respite care is a skilled nursing center. While similar to residential facilities, these centers do not have doctors on-site. Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and other types of nurses are available 24/7 to help your loved one. You can arrange to leave your loved one there for a few hours in the middle of the day or for several weeks as he or she recovers from an injury, illness or operation.

Respite care comes in different forms and lets you take a break from the care of an elderly person. Some of the types of respite care that might benefit you include in-home care, adult day care and co-op programs.