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How Respite Care Can Serve as a Trial Run for Senior Living

April 1, 2022

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Respite care is a valuable resource, but it is often overlooked or only considered by family caregivers. While it offers relief to those caring for a parent or family member, respite care is also beneficial for older adults, as it can be used as a chance to experience a senior living community without a long-term commitment.

Moving into a senior living community is a significant decision, so finding the right community is crucial. At Franciscan Ministries, we understand the value of getting the full community experience. That is why we are sharing how older adults can use respite care as a trial run for senior living.

Get to Know the Residents

It is natural to feel nervous during any transition, whether it was a new school as a child or a job change as an adult. However, once you got settled into your new environment and got to know those around you, you grew more comfortable in your surroundings.

The same can be said about transitioning into a senior living community. Fortunately, by utilizing respite care, you have the opportunity to meet residents and form friendships and connections ahead of time. This could make moving less nerve-wracking since you have already developed relationships with those who call the community home.

Additionally, during your respite care stay, you will be able to ask residents their honest opinions about what life is like there. Of course, you can learn a lot by doing research online and reading reviews, but hearing it first-hand will give you a more authentic picture of the community experience.

Enjoy Community Activities & Events

Senior living communities make it easy to stay physically and socially active and engaged through the activities and amenities they offer. However, it is important that you find a senior living community that offers amenities that align with your interests. This is where respite care can be beneficial.

During your respite care stay, you are treated like a full-time resident, giving you the same access to community activities, events and amenities. This allows respite guests the chance to participate and try different activities. 

Retirement living should be a time to learn new things and challenge yourself. While you want a community that offers things that align with your current interests, you should also consider a community that will get you out of your comfort zone. 

Experience the Living Spaces

You would not commit to moving into a new house without looking at it first. Moving to a senior living community is no different. Fortunately, when you use respite care as a trial run, you can go one step further. 

The advantage of senior living communities is that respite care guests can stay in a room or apartment similar to one they would live in if they moved in full-time. Instead of only spending five to ten minutes looking at the living space during a tour, you can get a genuine feel for the space and features, and decide if it is comfortable and suits your needs.

Access to Personalized Care

One of the most important considerations when choosing a senior living community is the care you receive. Any community can say that they offer quality, compassionate care, but by utilizing their respite care services first, you can see first-hand if this is true.

During your stay, you will be able to determine if the community offers the right level of care for you and if the care is personalized to your specific needs. Be sure to take note of the quality of care you receive during your stay, as this is likely how it will be if you decide to transition into the community as a full-time resident. 

A few questions to consider include:

  • Are the caregivers friendly?
  • Are they attentive?
  • What is the caregiver-to-resident ratio?
  • Do you feel like your unique needs are being met?

Respite care offers many benefits for family caregivers and older adults who are interested in transitioning into a senior living community. We invite you to visit our website or contact our team to learn more about our services and what we offer throughout our senior care communities.