What to do when you’ve decided to use respite care

About respite care1

Respite care organizations offer services that provide care for your loved one while you take a break. There are several types of respite care, including services that offer in-home assistance, as well as centers where you can take your loved one.

After you’ve picked the best option for you and your loved one, what do you do next? Even after you’ve decided, there are still factors to consider that can help ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Preparing for respite care2

People with Alzheimer’s can sometimes have trouble adjusting to new circumstances, so you should get them ready for respite care. Tell your loved one as much information as you think is necessary. If you think your loved one will be confused by new surroundings, tell him or her something that may be easier to understand. For example, you can say that someone is coming in to help around the house or that you are taking him or her to a social club or an adult day center. Anything you can do to help your loved one remain calm and feel that his or her routine is not being disrupted may make things go smoother.

Just as you have to prepare your loved one for respite care, you also have to prepare the respite care organization for your loved one. Every person with Alzheimer’s is different, and the respite care organization will need to know about your loved one. Establish a relationship and give an honest assessment of his or her behavior and individual needs. Also, try to have the respite care organization get to know your loved one, whether it is through pictures, stories, or other personal items.

You’re using respite care, now what do you do?1

Between caring for your loved one and other responsibilities, you probably haven’t had much time for yourself. Now that you have some free time, think about how you would like to spend it.

You might have to catch up on errands or want to spend time with friends and family members. Here are some other suggestions for your time:

  • Eat your favorite meal – Make a reservation at your favorite restaurant and indulge
  • Get a massage or spa treatment – It can be a relaxing and fun way to spend an afternoon
  • Watch a game – You might not have the time to see your favorite team play, so take the time to go to a game or watch it on TV
  • Catch up on sleep – You can relax knowing your loved one is getting safe, professional care, so take the opportunity to relax and just rest
  • Read – Find a beach, bench, or park and pick up the book you’ve been meaning to read
  • Exercise – Physical activity can relieve stress and be beneficial to your health

Learn more about respite care. 

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About Good Thinking

Good Thinking is for caregivers like you, supporting you as you face the daily challenges of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. We’re here to provide information and inspiration to help you take care of yourself and enhance the care you give every day.