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Respite Care Guidelines: When Can it be Accessed?

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Many people know that senior living communities offer beneficial care for older adults. However, they may not realize you don’t need to move into a community permanently to access its services and amenities.

Respite care offers temporary support for seniors, but when can someone access these services?

What Is Respite Care?

Respite care is a service many senior living communities offer. It’s short-term care for seniors—offering all the benefits of senior living without the commitment.

The length of time your loved one stays in respite care can typically last as long as they need. It’s common for older adults to stay in respite care when they need extra medical care, but there are several reasons to access this service.

You may access respite care for your loved one if:

  • Your loved one is recovering from injury or surgery
  • You need a break from regular care
  • You have conflicts affecting daily care
  • Your loved one wants to try senior living

What Conditions Does Respite Care Help Support? 

Older adults with any of the following conditions may benefit from respite care:

  • Injury or illness
  • Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
  • Stroke
  • Blindness
  • Cancer
  • Brain injury

How Does Respite Care Work?

You have different options if you’re interested in respite care for a loved one. Your loved one receives the same level of care—the difference is where they receive it. Respite care services can happen in or out of the home, providing the daily care seniors need.

  • Out-of-home respite care: Out-of-home respite care occurs when your loved one stays in a community for daily care. They experience the services and amenities the community has to offer. Your loved one returns when they feel better, or you can support them again.
  • In-home respite care: In-home care provides respite services without your loved one leaving home. A professional visits your loved one’s home, providing housekeeping, medical care, and companionship.

When Can Someone Access Respite Care?

Someone can use respite care services for several reasons, including recovery, compassion fatigue, conflicting schedules, or testing senior living.


Recovery is one of the reasons your loved one may need respite care. Whether from injury, illness, or medical treatment, respite care provides the extra support your loved one needs. Respite care helps your loved one with daily life as they recover, whatever support they may need.

While the hospital can help treat your loved one, they may not be able to stay as long as they need. Consider respite care when your loved one needs the extra care you can’t provide.

Compassion Fatigue

It’s normal to assume you must always be available and supportive as a caretaker. However, this isn’t true—people can and do become physically, emotionally, and mentally tired. This feeling is known as compassion fatigue.

If you feel burnt out supporting your loved one, respite care can help. Community staff can care for your loved one’s needs while you rest and recharge. Whether a day or several, you can return to your loved one ready to care for them.

Conflicting Schedules

You may currently care for your loved one, but life can get in the way. You and your family may need to travel somewhere or handle a family emergency. If you can’t provide the regular care your loved one needs, respite care can be beneficial.

Think of respite care as a short vacation for your loved one. They have their needs met, opportunities to meet new people, and several services and amenities to enjoy until you can care for them again.

Testing the Senior Living Lifestyle

There doesn’t need to be a specific reason to try out respite care, like recovery, injury, or compassion fatigue. A stay in respite care can help your loved one experience senior living without committing to moving. They can see if they enjoy this lifestyle before making a decision.

Having first-hand experience can help your loved one determine if senior living is right for their needs. You can always book a tour before your loved one stays in respite care to see the community.

Show Your Loved One the Benefits of Senior Living

Respite care can benefit you and your loved one’s needs. It’s a useful service whenever your loved one needs extra support or you need a short break. Your loved one is always welcome in our community. Contact Fox Trail Memory Care if you’re interested in respite care for your loved one.

Written by adminfoxtrail

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