Many caregivers dedicate much or most of their free time to taking care of their elder family member. In an increasingly mobile society where some family members have moved out of the general area, the remaining family member(s) have an increased burden and very little chance to go anywhere, do anything, or even have a family vacation.
Respite care allows caretakers to allow temporary or occasional time off to recoup emotionally, handle other family tasks or get away for awhile.
Respite care can take several different forms:
In-home respite care workers come directly to where the senior lives and often stay right there on the premises. This can be an expensive proposition, but far less than others.
Foster respite care - This isn't a common method of respite care, but is still available in some areas. Foster respite care requires that the senior temporarily move into the caretaker's home and care is provided there. Although the senior isn't in their own home, it is still a home environment and may be the only other alternative that is available.
Assisted living respite care - When space is available, some assisted living centers offer temporary housing and care. There are advantages and disadvantages to doing respite care here. The biggest advantage may be the opportunity to test the assisted living center without having to commit to moving there permanently.
There are often many fears associated with moving into an assisted living center, most of which are based on fear of the unknown, but all of which are very real.
Moving into an assisted living center allows the person to alleviate those fears, get to meet staff and other residents, and get rid of most of those fears.