Not all seniors or older adults who live in assisted living stay long-term.
Sometimes residents move into assisted living facilities for therapy and rehabilitation, such as post-surgery or stroke. Some stay temporarily while their primary caretakers or families are away for extended period of time. This short-but-sweet stay in assisted living is referred to as “respite care.” And, it’s actually more common than you may think! The median length of stay in assisted living is just 22 months.
According to this blog from Five Star Senior living, respite care or short-term stays are great for seniors for a few reasons – first, and probably most common, when families travel out of town (or simply need a break from the stresses of caregiving). And, respite stays are a good option for those considering senior living. Why not ‘test drive’ before you buy? Short-term stays are great for those who want to try out senior living before making a long-term commitment.
Respite stays allow residents to see what the amenities and day-to-day life is like at a particular facility. This includes enjoying housekeeping services, resident activities, dining facilities, and any other amenities enjoyed by permanent residents of that community. Amenities aside, short-term stays also expose you to what the community culture and employees are like. You’ll be able to get a feel for potential neighbors, meet nurses and caregivers, and chances are, you’ll be able to tell if you can see yourself living there.
Respite care can also involve in-home care. SeniorLiving.org notes, “Many people need help even when they are able to stay at home. Respite care is growing in importance today because more seniors are living longer, remaining healthy longer, and want to remain in their homes.”
In-home respite care can include as much or as little care as possible – anywhere from a few hours a day to a few days at a time. And the level of care can shift, too – from basic companionship to more intensive “adult day care” type of care.