When it comes to finding quality care for your senior parent or loved one, there is no end to the different options available. While some families will try to provide some of their loved one’s care on their own, the majority of families today will rely on some type of in-home care when it comes to making sure their loved ones are getting the attention that they need.
While there are a number of different types of senior care services, two of the most popular are respite care and in-home care. These options are popular because they allow seniors to get care in the comfort of their own home, or in a loved-one’s home—making them a popular alternative for families who aren’t quite ready to send their loved one to a nursing home or assisted living facility.
While these types of care services do have some significant similarities, they are actually quite different, and before you can determine which type of care is going to be best for your loved one, you need to have a general understanding of what these types of services include and entail, and who they are best suited for.
Senior in-home care is a relatively general term used to describe care given inside the home from an outside entity. Depending on the senior and the level of care that they need, this type of care can be from a professional caregiver, companion caregiver, or even a nurse. There are also some families who may rely on other friends or family members to provide this type of in-home care. In-home care is typically consistent and may occur around-the-clock, daily or even a few times during the week.
There are many families who may have a professional in-home caregiver come while they are away at work and unable to care for their senior loved ones. There are some in-home caregivers that will help seniors get ready for their day and assist with basic grooming and personal maintenance—ensuring they are ready for the day and don’t have to do these potentially dangerous tasks on their own. The most important thing to remember about in-home care is that it can be customized to fit the needs of each individual senior. Just because a senior is getting care from an in-home caregiver, it doesn’t mean that they have to be monitored 24/7.
Simply put, respite care is a type of temporary care for seniors who have a normal, primary caregiver. Respite care not only ensures that the senior is getting the care and attention that they need, but it also takes some of the stress away from the primary caregiver as well—especially if that caregiver is a family member or loved one.
There are many different types of respite care, ranging from companion care to in-home care and home health care providers. Respite care can be used for special occasions such as when a family goes on vacation and cannot take their loved one with them—or they can be for short-term situations. There are many families who will hire a respite caregiver to come in and help them when they need to run errands or tend to their own needs.
Respite care providers are some of the most important people to familial caregivers as they have the unique ability to provide flexible, yet reliable assistance to the family members who must take on the enormous responsibility of providing care for another person. Respite caregivers can be hired through an agency, individually or you can actually take your loved one to a respite care agency if they need care outside a home setting.
When it comes to using respite care, one of the best things that families can do is to plan ahead. Make sure that you find a provider, facility or individual that you trust before you need them, so if something comes up, such as an emergency, you know who you can call for help.
So, Which is the Best Option?
The most important thing to remember when it comes to comparing in-home care and respite care is that in-home care is designed to be more consistent than respite care. A respite care provider may come more than once, but they are not meant to be the primary care provider for your loved one. They are only meant to be temporary. Think of it as the difference between hiring a nanny for your child or hiring a baby sitter when you go out for the evening.
Another major difference to note is that while respite care can be provided in the home, it doesn’t necessarily have to be in-home care. There are respite care facilities, also known as adult day care facilities, all over the country. These are places where seniors who need a little help during the day can spend quality time with trained caregivers and other peers in a safe, social environment.
Ultimately, if you believe that you and your family are able to care for your loved one a majority of the time, then having a respite care giver on the back burner for some occasional assistance may be a great option. If you believe that you will need regular help with your loved one, even if it isn’t full-time, then you should plan on hiring an in-home caregiver.
No matter what type of care you decide is ultimately best for your loved one, make sure to take the time to really find a caregiver or care agency that you feel like you can trust and rely on. Caregivers play such a vital role in a senior’s life during this delicate time, and you want to make sure that you and your family feel comfortable and confident in the individual that is looking after your loved one—even if it is only occasionally. The right caregiver is not only responsible for your loved one’s safety and well-being but can provide them with important companionship during this delicate time in their lives. No matter which format of caregiving you choose, make certain that the focus remains on finding the right caregiver for you and your loved one’s needs.