It’s a given that seniors staying in an assisted living community need to be consistently looked after to ensure their overall health. However, most of us tend to overlook the fact that caregivers themselves require time to take care of their wellbeing.
On average, most full-time caregivers clock in 35 hours per week. That’s time spent focused on attending to the needs of others and exercising as much compassion and patience as is humanly possible. You can only imagine the amount of stress and fatigue, both mental and physical, that builds up in them over time.
That begs the question, if caregivers in assisted living communities need a break, what will become of the elderly they are responsible for? Well, this is where respite care for seniors comes in.
What Is Respite Care?
Respite care, as its name implies, means giving temporary care usually to a senior in order for his or her full-time caregiver to take a much-needed break to recover physically, emotionally, and mentally from their demanding jobs.
Usually, this is care that’s given for relatively shorter time than what full-time caregiving requires. It can be as short as a few hours or as long as a few weeks depending on the agreed-upon arrangement. Almost any licensed caregiver or nurse can render respite care in most senior assisted living facilities.
The Benefits of Respite Care for Assisted Living Care
Respite care continues to be practiced in assisted living services for the following myriad and multi-fold advantages:
1. Caregivers are afforded time to relax and recover.
This goes both ways for the one rendering full-time care and the one doing respite care. After all, a full-time caregiver can take a lengthy break or vacation thanks to a temporary replacement taking his place. As for the latter, he would, more than likely, be able to have a far less stressful schedule yet still ensure the patient’s daily needs are met. This, in turn, leads us to the second main point below.
In the end, every caregiver has the right to enjoy life to the fullest. Being able to have more time with yourself only gives the necessary space and breathing room to not only recover but look at things differently and more positively, which in the end will only be vital for your long-term commitment to your chosen profession.
2. Interruptions in caregiving would be mitigated.
Most elderly people can’t afford to have their support suddenly interrupted. Many tend to have very fragile conditions, after all, to the point that even a single missed day could mean all the difference between continuous recovery or going back to zero — or worse.
The role of anyone rendering respite care is revealed to be extremely vital if that’s the case, which is almost always in the assisted living industry. Most facilities already have to put up with plenty of staff shortages after all. It’s safe to say that their contributions to helping to mitigate those shortages are immense, to say the least.
3. The social perks can’t be denied.
This is especially true for the seniors themselves. Meeting new people and forming connections are always innately tied to the senior living experience. Without a doubt, a change in caregiver, however minor it may seem, would already afford plenty of opportunities for seniors to socialize.
Once the connection has been formed, it’s very likely that the senior would eagerly look forward to the one rendering respite care.
Contrarily, the same social improvements can be enjoyed by the original caregiver and the senior because it allows the former the required respite that will more than likely allow him to look at their relationship more positively. Rest, regardless of how long it is, can make all the difference in the world. Without a doubt, any caregiver who has enjoyed the benefits of respite care would wholeheartedly say the same.
Ultimately, widening one’s social circles can only be good for one’s mental health. Seniors, in this case, are not an exception.
4. Allows seniors to test out the type of caregiving they prefer.
Caregivers only ever overlap in certain skills. On the whole, personality is just as important in establishing a solid patient-caregiver relationship that will only be good for both in the long run. So who knows? These shifts in caregivers may even help the patient find the most suitable one for her.
Keep in mind that this can make a whole lot of difference in long-term outcomes. Studies have shown that this type of connection is just as important in ensuring that seniors would have the best experience and for caregivers to not have a hard time handling their wards.
5. Respite care is widely accessible nowadays.
You only need to search for respite care for seniors near me to go over your list of possible caregivers to work with. This could not be more important in cases when emergencies arise and the intended caregiver would suddenly be unable to tend to the needs of those under his care.
You can only imagine the feedback that a facility would get if they are unable to provide a competent and experienced replacement for them.
Of course, you have to make sure that the kind of respite care being offered will align with the senior’s needs. Not everyone can handle an Alzherimer’s patient in the same way that there are caregivers who don’t want to have to handle numerous elderly at the same time.
Sometimes, referrals from friends and family would suffice. Most of the time, it’s always better if you have plenty of options. You could even contact your local state agency for any recommendations. In cases of sensitive assisted living setups, it’s almost always better to be safe than sorry.
Lantern LifeStyle :
Come to think of it, respite care services are nothing short of essential for they lend themselves to filling gaps that may arise as a result of a shortage of available caregivers in any given facility. It wouldn’t be farfetched to say that they are primarily responsible for keeping most communities running in tip-top shape for a long time.