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What Is Respite Care For Dementia

Are You Caring For Someone Living With Dementia

Respite Care: Caring for the Caregiver

As a carer for someone living with dementia, the impact of progressing symptoms can change both your lives dramatically. If youre a spouse or child caring for someone, it can be challenging to see a change in their abilities and behaviour which can result in grieving as you come to terms with the change in your relationship

The ongoing impacts of COVID-19 are continuing to be felt as carers are still unable to access some services and support resulting in ongoing feelings of isolation and fatigue. Its incredibly important to seek support for yourself to ensure youre able to continue to provide care, while looking after your own mental and physical wellbeing.

At Estia Health, all of our homes offer short-term respite care, where someone can come and stay with us for a week or so, giving you much-needed time to rest and recuperate. Visit our respite care page for more information or call us today to see how we can help.

Respite Care Enables Families And Carers To Have A Rest Go Out Attend To Business Or Go On A Holiday

Many people find that a regular break means that they can recharge and avoid burn out. It also gives a person with dementia an opportunity to socialise and meet other people.

The Government funds many different types of respite to help families and carers. If you want to know more about what respite is available in your area there are a number of organisations that can help you.

Dementia Australia offers information, support, education and counselling. The National Dementia Helpline can be contacted on 1800 100 500.

Carer Gateway is funded by the Commonwealth government to let you know what is available for you and the person you are caring for. They will help you find respite care in your local area and can answer your queries about types and costs of respite. Contact Carer Gateway on or visit

Holidays With Care Support

Similar to a care home, respite holidays with care offer specialist support to your loved one, but within a holiday setting. Many providers can help with travel arrangements, and provide a schedule of activities and entertainment suitable for those living with a wide range of illnesses or disabilities.

Its worth noting however, that some providers only offer respite support for a few hours during the day or night, and therefore require the primary caregiver to join their loved one on-site. So, while youll get regular opportunities to take some time to yourself, you may not get to step away from your caring responsibilities fully.

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Respite Care For Alzheimers Disease Tips

Respite care is designed to give caregivers a break, while someone else ensures the safety and well-being of their caree. Just imagine being a caregiver who knows your loved one is unsafe when left alone and the struggle to do simple errands or even deal with your own health needs. Some caregivers use respite care on a regular basis, while it can also be used for occasional extended breaks such as attending family events or taking vacations.

*Statistics from the Alzheimers Association, 2015 Facts and Figures

How Long Can You Have Respite Care

Respite Care: Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

There isn’t any hard and fast rule about how long you can use respite care services. Generally, overnight stays in a short-term assisted living facility or residential respite care facility last up to a few weeks. This gives caregivers time to spend with their family, go on vacation, take care of their own house, or make needed modifications to their loved one’s home.

Caregivers can use home care services or adult day programs for as long as needed. Maybe you need full-time respite care for a few weeks while you take a long break. Or, you pay for care as needed each month to fill in the gaps when you’re not available or need time for yourself.

For many families, price is an obstacle that affects how often and for how long they use respite care services. Talking to your other family members, reviewing your loved one’s finances, and speaking with attorneys or insurance agents can help you figure out your options,5 make a budget, and find affordable senior care in your area.

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Costs Of Respite Care

The costs of respite care can vary widely, especially depending on the type of program you decide to use, Billman says. She explains that day programs or group respite services outside the home are usually the most affordable option, typically costing $10 to $20 per hour.

In-home respite care, where a trained professional comes to the home and provides one-on-one care, costs more. This type of care typically ranges from $20-35 per hour, Billman says. You can usually save money if the services are covered through Medicare or Medicaid, she says.

Do I Need Respite Care

We believe that most caregivers would benefit from respite care, whether it’s for a few hours or a few weeks. If you’re still unsure, consider the following questions:

  • When was the last time you took a vacation?
  • Do you experience feelings of depression, anxiety, or anger frequently?
  • How often do you spend quality time with your significant other or friends?
  • Are you struggling to keep your own household running?
  • Do you and the person you’re caring for often butt heads?
  • Is caregiving interfering with your career?
  • Is your health declining?
  • How much sleep do you get?
  • When is the last time your loved one spent time with their peers or even just time out of the house?
  • Do you put your loved one’s needs ahead of your own? Ahead of your children’s?
  • Are there activities you stopped participating in or hobbies you let go of when you became a primary caregiver?

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Respite Care For Dementia Caregivers

In 2014, friends and family of people with Alzheimers and other dementias provided an estimated 17.9 billion hours of unpaid care, a contribution to the nation valued at $217.7 billion . Our society owes a great debt of gratitude to these caregivers. Unfortunately, caregiving takes a toll on caregivers, especially those dealing with the challenges of dementia care.

  • Nearly 60 percent of Alzheimers and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high about 40 percent suffer from depression.
  • Alzheimers and dementia caregivers had $9.7 billion in additional health care costs of their own in 2014.

Florida Alzheimers Statistics:

  • Approximately 12% of Florida seniors suffer from Alzheimers Disease.
  • Over 1 million caregivers provided 1,205,000,000 hours of unpaid care in 2014, with a monetary value of $14,669,000,000 to our state.

As longtime elder and caregiver advocates in Florida, our team has been deeply committed to Alzheimers awareness and caregiver assistance. In addition to our direct work with families, our team participates in the Walk to End Alzheimers, provides free dementia education events in our community and offers an array of free resources on our site and newsletter.

How Often Do I Need Respite Care

Respite Care for Carers

So how often do you need respite care? Start by analyzing both your needs and those of your loved one. Make a weekly diary listing the times and things you most need help with. Do you need free time? Help with transportation? What are your loved oneâs requirements? Medication management? Mental stimulation? Assistance with eating, walking, and dressing?

Next, consider your schedule and any activities or hobbies you want to make time for. Maybe you want to rejoin the bowling league on Monday nights and need Sundays off to spend more time with your kids. Or, perhaps you want to transition back to full-time work, so you need care during the day for your mom or dad. Perhaps, you just want two weeks off in the summer to take a vacation.

Whatever it is you need, talk to your loved one and other family members so that together, you can figure out a respite care plan. Find out what your mom or dad is comfortable with. See if there are nights where one of your siblings can take over as a caregiver. Knowing what everyone thinks and how they can contribute will help with making decisions about care and cost.

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When Is Respite Care Suitable

Respite care is suitable in a number of situations, both for carers and the people they care for.

Being a carer is a role that can be physically and mentally demanding particularly if youre looking after a family member or loved one. It allows a carer to recharge their batteries, safe in the knowledge that a loved one is being well cared for. It helps to prevent stress and burnout, allowing a carer to enjoy a well-earned break and return feeling refreshed and with renewed energy.

Importance of respite care

Research by Carers UK outlines that being the sole carer for a loved one, and not taking breaks away from these responsibilities can have big health implications.

More than eight in 10 carers surveyed said that caring had left them feeling isolated and lonely.

77% of carers reported having poorer mental health due to this isolation, while 67% said it had a significant impact on their physical health too.

But respite care can be just as important for the care recipient allowing them to enjoy new experiences or giving them an opportunity to test out alternative services or forms of care. Speaking to elderly people about care options can be difficult but introducing respite care can help guide conversations to more permanent care solutions.

What Are Respite Care Options

Respite care options include private in-home care, drop-off adult day programs, overnight facilities and even recreational activities and outings, Billman says. Depending on your loved ones needs, you could use respite services to give them company, to help with personal care like bathing, or even to provide medical assistance.

Using respite care regularly provides the most positive benefits, Billman says, but caregivers can use it however much theyd like. Shes found that some people only use it one day a month, while others use it a few times a week so they can get grocery shopping done and have some social time outside of the house.

When Maureen Solis father died five years ago, she and her siblings knew they needed to hire someone to help care for their elderly mother in Corpus Christi, Texas. They currently have respite caregivers come to their mothers home for three to four hours every day to spend time with her, and Solis and her siblings fill in the rest of the time.

While they initially hoped to find someone to take their mother to doctor appointments, perform housework and run errands, the fees for that type of service are astronomical, so we hired more of a companion, Solis says.

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What Services Does Respite Care Provide

Respite care providers offer several services, all designed to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while you’re taking care of yourself. It can include as much or as little care as needed at various times of the day and as frequently as desired. This flexibility helps caregivers maintain the best level of care for their loved one without sacrificing their own mental health.

Common respite care services offered include:

  • Help with activities of daily living like bathing, grooming, and dressing
  • Meal prep and assistance eating and drinking
  • Medication management

Is There Senior Respite Care Near Me

Respite Care: Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

There are a variety of respite care facilities and services in most areas. Many times, insurance companies and medical health providers can offer recommendations for these services.

Most areas will have a wide range of respite services available to patients. Take the time to get to know these organizations and the individuals who will be providing care for your loved one. You need to feel confident in the type and level of service they can offer to you. The more information and guidance you receive from these individuals, the better. Respite care services are available as an emergency situation or as a long-term, planned event in most areas. This can give you the support you need no matter the circumstances.

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What Is Respite Care

Everyone deserves a rest. Respite care allows caregivers to take a break from caring for their loved ones while the person with Alzheimers continues to receive care in a secure setting. Respite programs can help you support and enhance your capacity to care for others.

The following are some of the benefits of respite care:

  • A chance to relax or spend time with other friends and relatives.
  • Its time to run errands like shopping, exercising, getting a haircut, or seeing the doctor.
  • Knowing that the person with dementia is spending time with other loving people provides comfort and peace of mind.

Respite care services can allow a person with dementia to do the following:

  • Interact with people who are going through similar things.
  • Spend time in a supportive and safe atmosphere.
  • Participate in activities that are tailored to your specific talents and requirements.

Building A Collaborative Care Partnership

Empathic client-service communication

For carers, the development of trusting care relationships between the dyad and the service was underpinned by empathic communication about the person with dementia and their care . Perceived poor communication with services makes it difficult for carers to relinquish the carer role and achieve a positive respite experience and carers believe this leads to adverse outcomes . Amongst carers who were satisfied with care quality, it was evident that they felt that their views had been solicited and valued by staff . Trust in care quality was amplified when carers felt that staff were asking the right questions about the person with dementia and their care , and when staff were seen to be developing a positive relationship with the person with dementia . A designated point of contact was considered a substantial benefit in terms of dyad-service communication by carers and frontline staff . There is minimal research from the perspective of the person with dementia, but people with dementia valued being included in care decisions and reported that they valued listening, and being listened to, by staff .

Meeting carers informational support needs

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Dealing With Any Difficulties

Occasionally difficulties can arise, particularly when using respite for the first time. Some families and carers find that the person with dementia does not wish to leave them or leave home for a break, or that they want to come home whilst using respite. Other families and carers are concerned about uncharacteristic behaviours that occur when using respite or the effects on a person with dementia after respite.

These problems are not unusual and should not stop you taking a break. There are many ways to manage these difficulties so that you and the person you are caring for can make the most of respite care.

Respite Care For Dementia

Residential & Respite Care
  • Spouses, partners and relatives who care for a person with Dementia can have an assessment and may need a break from caring.
  • This is known as respite care, which usually takes the form of a regular short break, anywhere from a few hours a week up to a few weeks. Respite care may be planned or be required in an emergency.
  • Regular respite care might involve the person with Dementia attending a day centre or a care worker visiting the persons home to give the carer a break.
  • Suppose the relative caring for a person wishes to go on holiday or cannot care because of illness or an emergency. In that case, a care home or care worker may provide a period of respite care, sometimes in the persons own home.

Use our Search for Care tool to find respite services that specialise in looking after those with Dementia.

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How To Find Respite Care

Respite care can improve general well being of the loved one, but its often underutilized, Billman says. This may be because caregivers dont know where to find respite care or they prioritize other services.

Many states have respite coalitions like the one Billman works for. So, for starters, she recommends checking to see if your state has an organization like this, which can refer you to the best services in your area. Another great place to look is your local area agencies on aging or your county senior services. They often have respite resources and sometimes even have vouchers to make it more affordable, Billman says. And, of course, you can also find individual respite caregivers for seniors on

How Many Respite Days Per Year

How much respite care can you claim in a year? Respite care is designed to be used on a temporary basis, and there is a limit to the number of days per year that the government will subsidise a persons respite care. The maximum ordinary amount of subsidised respite care per year per person is 63 days.

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Respite Care Can Include:

  • a short stay in a care home
  • the Shared Lives scheme
  • help from friends or family
  • spending some time away together.

Speak to a professional such as a social worker about the different care options available. You may be able to choose more than one type of care, depending on what is available in your area.

For example, if you want to attend a class for a couple of hours a week you might choose to have care at home, or a day centre. If either you or the person with dementia needs a longer break, a short stay in a care home might be more suitable.

For information on the different ways you can access respite care see How is respite care arranged?

Living in England or Wales?

This information is for people living in Northern Ireland and does not cover England and Wales, where the systems are different. See our information on respite care in these countries:


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