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Taking a Well-Deserved Break: Respite Care for Caregivers of Aging Parents

If you are a caregiver of an aging parent, you understand the commitment and love that your role entails. Yet, even the most dedicated caregivers need time to recharge, unwind, and take care of their own well-being. But how do you manage to take a vacation when mom or dad is unable to travel, and you can’t leave them alone?

Aside from asking for help from willing and available extended family or friends, respite care is a temporary care option that can help fill the gap when, as a caregiver, you need a break to recharge. Here is what you need to know:

Understanding Respite Care

Respite care provides temporary relief for primary caregivers, allowing you to take a vacation, attend to personal matters, or simply rest and recharge. This service can be provided in your own home, at adult day care centers, or at a senior living community, like United Hebrew, that offers short-term stays.

Benefits of Respite Care

Respite care is more than just a temporary care solution; it is a vital resource that offers numerous benefits.

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“For caregivers, respite care provides an opportunity to prevent burnout, reduce stress, and maintain a healthier life balance,” says Maria Hood, director of Admissions, United Hebrew. “For seniors, respite care can provide a change of scenery, opportunities for socialization, and a chance to participate in activities designed for their abilities and interests.

“It also offers a valuable opportunity to test drive an assisted living community without a long-term commitment and before a crisis or more permanent residential care is needed,” explains Hood.

Choosing the Right Respite Care

When it comes to choosing a respite care provider, quality of care should be your top priority. Look for a provider with a compassionate, highly trained staff, a warm and welcoming environment, and a wide range of services that cater to your loved one’s needs.

United Hebrew’s respite program is open to adults with sub-acute, chronic, or terminal illnesses who require supervision, monitoring, and medication management. Accommodations at United Hebrew’s skilled nursing home include:

  • Private rooms with ensuite bathroom
  • On-site medical director, board-certified in geriatric medicine
  • 24-hour skilled nursing care team
  • Emergency call system
  • Scheduled transportation to doctors appointments
  • Three nutritious meals daily served in an elegant dining room or in-room dining
  • Laundry services
  • Cable TV and telephone services
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Hair salon
  • Access to full calendar of social activities


Planning for Respite Care

Hood encourages families to provide the respite care provider with as much information as possible about their loved one’s routines, health conditions, and preferences. This helps ensure continuity of care and reduces any potential stress for your loved one.

“To help your loved one adjust, consider scheduling a short trial run before your vacation,” advises Hood. “This allows your loved one to familiarize themselves with the new environment and staff, and gives you an opportunity to address any concerns that may arise.”

Take That Break

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Caregiving is a demanding role, and it’s crucial to take care of yourself, too. With respite care, you can take that much-needed vacation knowing your loved one is in safe and caring hands. You deserve it, and they do too.

Related Story: Family Caregivers: 6 Tips for a Healthy, Balanced Life in Your 60s

If you’re ready to explore respite care options, we invite you to schedule a tour of United Hebrew to see firsthand how we can support you and your loved one. Remember, taking care of yourself is part of taking care of your loved one.