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Operational Director
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Assistant Manager of Operations


How Soon Do You Need to Plan on Respite Care (If Available) for Assisted Living Over the Holidays?

Assisted Living Phoenix, AZ: Respite Care

With the holiday season fast approaching, many loved ones supporting an aging parent, spouse, or other family member might start wondering when they need to make plans, especially if they’re traveling. If the senior has already chosen assisted living and has been there for some time, there may be other unique questions that come up, including what do you need to do in order to pick them up so they can travel and visit with family over the holiday season?

Each assisted living community is going to have its own process and procedures in place for family to pick up and take residents off campus for an extended length of time.

Contact the facility directly.

Assisted Living Phoenix, AZ: Respite Care
Assisted Living Phoenix, AZ: Respite Care

The first thing you need to do is contact the assisted living community directly and speak to an administrator. They may have certain procedures in place that need to be filed, including the senior requesting time away.

That may sound as though this is a prison of sorts, but it’s completely the opposite. Residents are free to come and go as they choose, but you need to understand that staff are responsible for the residents in their care.

If a family member picks up a resident for a day visit, but doesn’t notify anybody where they’re going or when they expect to return, what happens if they decide to keep that senior overnight and the staff check the room and find nobody there at eight or 9 o’clock at night?

They may think the elderly person wandered off, is somewhere on the facility, and they begin spending man-hours searching for that individual. When it comes to the holiday season, many facilities have a drawdown of staff as people spend more time with their own families.

There may be fewer activities going on, fewer staff members, and maybe even if fewer residents because some are traveling. If that’s the case, then make sure you inform the administrators at the facility of your intentions and your plans. Do that as soon as you can.

Talk about it often with the aging senior.

This is especially important for those seniors who may be struggling with memory loss. For somebody at a memory care facility, a trip off campus can be even more complicated than it would be for somebody who has their full mental faculties in place.

Discuss the plans for this holiday season with the aging person directly. Talk about it often. Make sure this is something the senior wants to do, too.

Somebody with Alzheimer’s, for example, may become confused, frustrated, or anxious, even at the prospect of traveling and visiting with family and friends they haven’t seen in a long time. They may prefer to stay where they are, where they are most comfortable, and hope that family will come and visit them for a day visit.

The bottom line is this: when you plan on traveling or relying on respite care services at assisted living for an aging senior who can travel with you, start early. Find out about availability, rules, expectations, and forms that may need to be filled out. The sooner you start planning, the smoother things will be for those seniors over the holiday season.

If you or an aging loved-one is considering a move to Assisted Living in Phoenix, AZ please contact the caring staff at MD Senior Living today. 480-267-9200


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