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Q: What is Respite Care?

Posted January 07, 2015 in Advice Column, Des Moines West

Respite care is the provision of short-term accommodation in a facility outside the home in which a loved one may be placed. This provides temporary relief to those who are caring for family members, who might otherwise require permanent placement in a facility outside the home.

Respite programs provide planned short-term and time-limited breaks for families in order to support and maintain the primary care giving relationship.

Even though many families take great joy in providing care to their loved ones so that they can remain at home, the physical, emotional and financial consequences for the family caregiver can be overwhelming without some support, such as respite.

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.

Respite care is not all the same. Respite can vary in time from part of a day to several weeks.  More specifically respite care may take any one of the following forms:

  • Adult Day Care: These programs are designed to provide care and companionship for frail and disabled persons who need assistance or supervision during the day. The program offers relief to family members or caregivers and allows them the freedom to go to work, handle personal business or just relax while knowing their relative is well cared for and safe.
  • Facility Care Setting: The services and amenities available to long-term care residents are also available to respite residents. These services and amenities usually include:
    Three nutritious meals daily, medication management, 24-hour supervision and security, assistance with personal care needs such as bathing, dressing, toileting and grooming, laundry service, housekeeping, activities and outings and transportation
  • In-home respite care: Generally speaking, in-home respite care involves the following four types of services for the more impaired older person:

1.    Companion services to help the family caregiver supervise, entertain, or just visit with the senior when he or she is lonely and wants company.

2.    Homemaker services to assist with housekeeping chores, preparing meals, or shopping.

3.    Personal care services to help the aged individual bathe, get dressed, go to the bathroom, and/or exercise.

4.    Skilled care services to assist the family caregiver in tending to the senior’s medical needs, such as when administering medications.

Respite Care Facilities Costs
At health care communities, temporary care respite stays are usually less than one month long, It’s important to keep in mind that the cost of respite care varies with the type of agency and services the person needs. Cost and services vary from community to community.  

Information from Wikipedia and provide by Sharlynn Watkins of Ramsey Village Continuing Care Retirement Community, 1611 27th St., Des Moines, (515) 274-3612.

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