The Benefits of Respite Care for the Elderly

Updated on March 22, 2021
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Photo Credit: Christian Newman (Unsplash)

Aging is a natural and inevitable part of life, but watching a loved family member deteriorate as they age can be difficult and emotionally draining. Making the decision to seek outside support or find a senior care facility for an aging parent is incredibly difficult, but a necessary choice for many. 

There are many people who refuse to allow anyone to care for an elderly relative and insist on taking the responsibility by themselves, and there are other families who simply don’t have the financial cushion to afford a senior care home. However, there is a middle ground solution that is rarely discussed, and may provide an excellent alternative for all parties. There are many care homes that offer respite care options, which will allow seniors to visit the facility daily without committing to becoming a permanent resident. 

For anyone still on the fence about respite care as an alternative to becoming a care home resident, let’s look at some of the benefits. 

Reduces Stress for the Family

What are the advantages of respite care? Being able to take your elderly relative to a place where you know they’ll be safe and entertained for the day gives you a break from all the tasks involved in their care and can help prevent burnout. Even having a few extra hours to yourself will be restorative for you and the family. It also helps build your emotional resilience and will reduce strain on your relationships. 

Provides a Valuable Social Experience for Seniors

Positive social interactions are linked to lower rates of mental deterioration. Respite care allows seniors to interact with their peers and form new friendships. It also allows elders to get involved in various organised activities that encourage social interaction and keep them mentally stimulated. These seemingly simple interactions can prevent the onset of conditions such as dementia and Alzheimers. The types of activities on offer can help lift their spirits and alleviate any feelings of loneliness. 

Peace of Mind Knowing Your Senior Is in Good Hands

Most senior care facilities will have medically-trained professionals on-site or will be located close to a medical facility. When you leave your relative at a respite care center, you can rest assured that they are in good hands should anything unexpected happen. Furthermore, these homes are well-accustomed to the challenges posed by caring for the elderly, and they’ll know how to handle almost any situation that comes their way. 

It is normal to want to handle our family members’ care, especially considering that they once took care of us. However, seeking help or utilizing the services of a respite care home is not accepting defeat. In fact, respite care options offer families a solution when it comes to taking care of the elderly. Having a place where you can guarantee your family member is being taken care of allows you to take a break. It also gives them a change of scenery and provides them with additional structure and organized entertainment, which can also serve to boost their mood.  

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