What Could Respite Care at Assisted Living Provide to a Senior Dealing with Alzheimer’s?
Not every assisted living facility is going to be able to provide adequate support for seniors dealing with Alzheimer’s or some other type of dementia. It really needs to be a memory care facility. That doesn’t mean a non-memory care assisted living facility is not going to provide some level of assistance and support, especially shortly after diagnosis, but as the signs and symptoms progress, you’ll want the right elder care option.
Many family members take this role on themselves.
It’s often a spouse or adult child who lives relatively close by. When their aging parent, spouse, or other loved one is first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, they don’t see the worst of the symptoms … yet.
Even though they may have recognized memory loss beginning to impact daily life for this individual, hearing that word, “Alzheimer’s” can be difficult to handle. It is especially true when it seems as though this senior, this person they love so much, is still able to handle many aspects of their daily life, perhaps only with a little bit of encouragement, assistance, and reminders.
However, as time progresses and the symptoms become more pronounced, the challenges amplify. That family caregiver begins to feel overwhelmed. They start devoting more and more of their time to checking in with the senior, supporting him or her, making sure they’re safe, and spending less time with other family, friends, or even their jobs.
At this stage, they start running closer and closer to the flame of burnout. It is a very serious and real consideration family caregivers need to make, but don’t often recognize until it’s already upon them.
Now, what about respite care?
Some people are unwilling to move into a memory care assisted living facility. They might have misconceptions about what it is, have heard the wrong types of stories, but in reality, memory care is basically a facility that is staffed by highly trained and hands-on experienced individuals who understand the various symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and how best to navigate and support aging men and women diagnosed with these conditions.
For the family caregiver who is feeling run down, burned out, worn out, overwhelmed, or even frustrated and hurt because of the outbursts, the aggression, the accusations, or some other behaviors exhibited now by this senior with Alzheimer’s, there may be options available to help.
Not all memory care facilities will provide respite options, but for those that do, it may include dropping the senior off in the evening and picking him or her up in the morning. That senior can be surrounded by experienced staff ready to step in and support him or her during those difficult overnight hours.
They may provide short-term stay options, including a few days or couple of weeks at a time. Some facilities may offer an option for day stays.
Respite care can help not just the family caregiver get the time off he or she needs, but the senior to realize this might very well be the best option for them moving forward.