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What is Respite Care for Seniors?

Respite care is short term care for a senior. Whether in a community or at home, care is provided on a temporary basis while a caretaker is on vacation or indisposed due to surgery or illness.

Respite care can be a life saver for caregivers needing a break from the physical and mental demands and the stress of care giving! Caregivers can rest knowing that their loved one is well taken care of. This is also a great option if you and your loved one are considering full-time help or a move. This is a great way to “test the waters”. Per Wikipedia, respite has been shown to help sustain family caregiver health and well being, avoid or delay out-of-home placements, and reduce the likelihood of abuse and neglect. An outcome based evaluation pilot study shows that respite may also reduce the likelihood of divorce and help sustain marriages.

As a caregiver, with the financial resources, respite care is a highly recommended way to get a mental and physical break from the rigors of taking care of a loved one. You should not feel guilty about needing a break, as long as you are confident in the quality of the respite care provider.

Several nursing homes, assisted living communities, home care providers, and hospitals offer respite care, but not all, so check with a provider (and their listing) for availability, offers and fees. Some also consider adult day care a type of respite care since care is offered during a specific time period on certain days. Some providers offer this service as a way to bring in clients full-time. Let them know if you will be considering more care or a move in the future, as an assisted living or personal care provider may be able to make the visit a “trial”, and cut fees. Some providers do not “normally” offer short-term stays, but they may do so in a bad economy. It’s worth asking!

Medicare, Medicaid & VA cover some respite care fees, when health care is needed (in the case of a nursing home, home health &/or hospice care).

At, respite providers are noted by an RSP on their listing, so find the type of care provider your loved one needs & then look for RSP on their listing. Start your search for Respite Care providers now.

More on Respite Care:

Respite Care Facts

The ABCs of Respite Care

Help Guide – Respite Care



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