After a long, cold winter many Central Ohio families are looking forward to heading south to soak up the sun this month. If you are a caregiver for a senior you love, however, taking a break can often create anxiety. Worrying about how they are managing while you are away can keep you from relaxing and enjoying the time with your family. That can be especially true if your older loved one lives alone. One solution can be to utilize respite care.
What is Respite Care for Seniors?
Respite care is designed to give caregivers a break. It might be an informal arrangement, where a friendly visitor from your local church or synagogue comes to stay with your loved one, while you run errands or enjoy some time to yourself once a week. Respite can also be provided by an aide or companion from a home care agency who assists your senior family member when you can’t be there. Another respite option that can give families who are traveling peace of mind is a respite stay at an assisted living community or nursing care center. Seniors in Ohio can take advantage of respite in a senior living community for just a few days or up to one month. Caregivers should look at respite as a necessary support for managing both their stress and their personal health.
Paying for Respite Care in Ohio
Respite care is usually paid for with a family’s private resources. In some cases, additional funding is available. If your senior loved one lives in Franklin County, the Franklin County Office on Aging might be able to help. They are the local partner for the National Family Caregiver Support Program. This program is a part of the Older American Act of 2000. It provides low income adults over the age of 60 with a variety of services including an eight day respite stay at a long-term care community. If you live outside of central Ohio, you can find your local agency through the Ohio Department of Aging.
Respite as an Assisted Living Trial Stay
Respite stays offer an added benefit when an older family member who needs more help is reluctant to consider moving to an assisted living community. Asking them to enjoy a few days at a senior living community while you are out-of-town can be a non-threatening way to introduce them to assisted living.
You can work with the staff from the assisted living community to make sure the experience is a positive one. Your loved one can participate in life enrichment activities that are of interest, share meals with other residents, and enjoy worry-free living with housekeeping and laundry provided. Respite suites are usually furnished, but families should consider bringing family photos, a favorite throw, and other personal belongings that can make help make the suite feel more like home.
Have you tried respite care for a senior loved one?