6 Benefits of Respite Care after a Hospital Stay

April 5, 2017 Sue Lingo, RN, Director of Care Delivery Services

Respite care is a short-term stay at an assisted living community (typically between 14 and 30 days) and can be ideal for seniors following a hospitalization, after a medical procedure, during injury rehabilitation or just to give a primary caregiver a break. 

Here are six benefits of respite care for seniors and their families:

1) Continuity of Care
An important aspect of a respite stay after a hospital stay is the continuity of care during the transition from a hospital to returning back home. Sometimes the patient may have additional care needs after hospitalization, such as after knee and hip replacement surgery or extended hospitalizations related to illness. The patient may need additional support and care while continuing to gain strength and rehabilitate to perform aspects of everyday life, including tasks such as walking, bathing, dressing or basic personal care. There are also benefits of respite care for caregivers, as during this time they can get the house ready for the patient to return without worrying about medical care. This can include putting up a wheelchair ramp, installing grab bars in the bathroom, or other safety measures. In the meantime, Enlivant will make sure all of the senior’s medical needs are met and recovery goes as smooth as possible.

2) Socialization
The socialization aspect of a stay can be vital for many seniors in respite care. Oftentimes, a senior might have been isolated, especially if they are no longer able to drive, or don’t get many visitors. During a respite care stay at an assisted living community, seniors are given a host of opportunities to interact with people their own age—from mealtimes to engaging activities, social events and everything in between— resulting in a sense of a close community and home-like atmosphere. We have seen on many occasions seniors who become full-time residents after a respite stay.

3) Home-like Atmosphere

Just because a senior is staying in a senior living community, does not mean it can’t feel like home. Enlivant encourages seniors to bring personal items during their stay to make the environment more welcome. This can include pictures, mementos or any other items to make their short-term home feel more like their permanent home. Seniors receive their own apartments, where they can perform any therapy they may need privately. 

4) Family involvement

When preparing for a respite stay, family members and loved ones are brought into the process to help discuss the care for their loved one. Before a person is admitted for a respite stay, professionals from Enlivant go to the hospital or the senior’s home to do an assessment and determine the senior's needs and preferences. We also ask the family about their loved one’s routine, living specifications and diet to ensure the best possible care. Family members and loved ones are encouraged to visit during the respite stay so they can continue to provide support and ensure the recovery is going smoothly. We keep the family informed of   everything that is going on, within legal parameters.

5) Transportation
Assisted living communities, like Enlivant, offer transportation to residents during a respite stay. This way, if the senior’s medical professionals cannot visit the community, we will make arrangements so they can visit their doctor. Our vans are equipped to transport residents from our communities to and from doctor’s appointments, as well as other outings.

6) Doctor Collaboration

We strongly believe in professional respect and collaboration with the patient's medical team. Our care staff is in constant communication with each resident’s doctor to ensure we are providing the best possible care. Each resident has a chart that can be accessed by their medical team at every visit.

Even though respite stay residents are only in our care for a short time, we treat them exactly like a long-term resident. No matter how long a person stays with us, they become a part of the Enlivant family. 

Is a respite program right for your patient? Learn more about respite services at Enlivant.

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