Is a Respite Stay in Assisted Living Right for You?

Respite stays within Assisted Living are often utilized for a myriad of reasons. Respite stays are designed to be a short term arrangement, usually less than 90 days, and can be as short as 7 days. The Executive Office of Elder Affairs authorizes and governs Assisted Living Residences as a way to provide a combination of residential housing and individualized personal care services to elders. Assisted Living has become an essential option in the continuum of care that aids elders as they age in place in their communities.

Activities of Daily Living assistance are defined as requiring help with the following: eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring (walking) and continence. Although a resident may require help with any or all ADL’s, this assistance is provided within a model of providing privacy, dignity, autonomy and individuality.
Respite stays may be considered for: a post hospital or rehabilitation stay prior to returning home; when a family or caregivers are requiring a rest or vacationing, in an emergency situation if there’s a need for an alternate care giver, and as a way to evaluate if Assisted Living is a good fit for an elder. Short term respites are typically inclusive of the services the communities provide such as: fully furnished apartments, three daily meals, daily supportive care, social calendar of events, television and phone service, safety pendant call system, transportation to medical appointments, housekeeping and medication management.

Respite care can also be provided in Special Care Units (SCUs) specific for Dementia Care, Behavioral Health, and Neurocognitive Conditions. When considering a respite stay, whether in a traditional, residential model of care or Special Care unit level of care, be sure to ask your provider what services are available and what ancillary services (Physical therapy, Occupational therapy or Speech therapy and Visiting Nurse services) may be brought into a residence as to enhance the quality of life of an individual during the respite stay.
When you are considering a respite stay, remember the benefits are not just for the individual, but for families and care-givers alike. Respite stays are a unique way of supporting primary caregivers and preventing “care giver burn-out”, all while supporting the individual in a nurturing and supportive environment.
This article was submitted by Dr. Jennifer Belesi, Marketing Director at Orchard Hill Assisted Living located in Sudbury, Massachusetts.