Short-term senior care, sometimes called respite care, offers regular caregivers, family, and friends who care for a loved one a little time off. It’s a service that can be used as needed should a caregiver be traveling across the country for a week or two or if the family who would normally be there needs some support.
Short-term senior care can be a positive experience for everyone involved, all while keeping a loved individual secure and happy. Many locations that offer this specialized service have different activities and events for elderly seniors who partake in short-term care, and the differences in cost and duration can be explained further by the assisted living community offering respite or short-term senior care.
A short-term experience in assisted living may also play into a longer-term plan and be able to give both the individual and family some insight into what assisted living would be like.
What Is Day-to-Day Life Like?
Spending some time at an assisted living community can be quite similar to living at home. Individuals are set up in their own space, with their own bed and personal hygiene items, and have access to assistance throughout the night should they need it.
Seniors will be introduced to the campus and will be able to attend the dining room for nutritious chef-prepared meals, visit the library if they’re looking for a good book, or even take a trip to the community room. There are often events and activities planned, which all residents have the option to attend. There are sometimes fitness classes or games and activities to keep the brain and body engaged and to prevent decline.
There is transportation available to get to scheduled appointments and also transportation so seniors can go shopping for snacks or personal items.
One of the biggest benefits of short-term care is that there is a dedicated and caring staff available to assist individuals 24 hours a day. Staff members are there to help make sure individuals are getting to meals, using the restroom, taking medications, and caring for their personal hygiene.
Another benefit is being in the company of others. For seniors who are used to being alone at home with a carer, a stay at an assisted living community can mean new friendships and camaraderie with other residents.
Duration of Stay
The length of the stay in short-term care can differ depending on the community and its guidelines. Generally speaking, a short stay in assisted living will be at least three to four days. There are certain costs with facilitating care for individuals, so a three- to four-day minimum makes sure the campus is able to cover its side of things. There’s sometimes flexibility in how many days your loved one can stay at the assisted living community.
For example, let’s say you’re going on a week-long vacation. Although you’re going to be gone for 7 days, your loved one may still stay in care for 10 or 11 days. This includes you helping get things moved over and visiting before leaving on your trip. Upon your return, you can help pack things up for the move back to the senior’s normal residence.
Costs and Paying for Short-Term or Respite Care
The costs associated with the short-term stay are directly related to the length of the stay. For a stay that’s three to four days, you can estimate about $600 for a four-day stay. This covers the costs and includes managing the routines and logistics of care. The costs include around-the-clock comprehensive care, plus the medication administered and freshly prepared meals, access to the library, theatre, wellness room and other facilities, among other things.
Assisted living cannot be paid for by Medicare and has to be funded by private individuals. If you’re looking for a better rate for the stay, keep in mind that the day rate will change for a longer stay.
Are There Any Requirements for Short-Term Stays?
There could be a couple of things that factor into someone being able to have a short-term stay in an assisted living community. First, there’s the overall health and condition of the individual and then the duration of time needed or requested. Unless the individual needs specialized care or is sick and will need extra care, most communities are prepared to offer short-term care. If the senior may just need a little general help, then assisted living is a good choice.
If your loved one falls outside of any of the considerations for going to an assisted living community for a short stay or you really only need someone to support you for two to three days, hiring a qualified private caretaker may be a better option.
Importance of Having Help
Being able to find a qualified, safe, and secure place for your loved one while the normal carer is unavailable can be a huge deal. In general, it’s nice to be able to turn to other family members or friends to help care for the senior individual, but when you just can’t seem to make schedules work, knowing that short-term respite care—with qualified and compassionate carers—is available can be immensely helpful.
Think of it also as a nice way to change things up for the elderly individual. An opportunity in a new locale, with a host of new things to do, new people to meet, and a gourmet dining experience with chef-prepared meals. It’ll be a stay-cation.
Solterra Senior Living offers a network of communities, some of which offer short-term senior care when you and your family need it. Contact us today to see how we can arrange a tour and discover how we can support you when you need the coverage.