Respite care can be a terrific option for families in which the patient or caregiver need a brief break from the daily routine. Patients and families can choose between in-home respite care and residential respite care. Many residential care facilities offer the option of respite care, allowing a patient to temporarily move into the facility and to temporarily receive all of the advantages of the residential care lifestyle. Respite care may be appropriate if the primary caregiver is going out of town, will be temporarily incapacitated for her own medical needs, or as an opportunity to try-out an assisted living facility before making a long-term decision for care.
When considering a trial of respite care, remind your loved one that you are concerned about their safety and well-being and that you want him/her to be happy. Whether choosing an in-home caregiver or a residential care facility, neither is a permanent and irreversible decision. If you or your loved one does not like the decision, you can always terminate the in-home care or move to a different location. For some individuals who are not sure about whether or not community living is the right choice, the option of respite care may allow for making a much more informed, successful decision. I would strongly encourage you to try living at the facility for one night or even a few weeks to determine if the community is the best facility to meet your needs and desires. You should definitely visit any facility under consideration several times, speak with the staff members and residents, and try out the food and activities. Most residential care facilities and board and care homes will be happy to arrange an in-depth tour because they want you to be comfortable with your decision.
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