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Respite: A Service for Family Caregivers

Respite: A Service for Family Caregivers

Dana Hentschel, Community Relations Director at Elmcroft of Hendersonville, spoke with Stacey Bonner, Family Services Coordinator, about how a family caregiver can benefit from respite when traveling.?

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Stacey Bonner: Welcome to this edition of the Vanderbilt University Health and Wellness Wellcast. I am Stacey Bonner with the Child and Family Center. Are you a family caregiver? Have you thought about taking a vacation? Do you know who would care for your loved one while you are away? Many caregivers are not aware that assisted living communities offer short-term overnight respite stays for a family caregivers loved one while they go in vacation. Dana Hentschel, Community Relations Director at Elmcroft of Hendersonville has joined me to talk about this service. Dana, what is respite care?

Dana Hentschel: Respite care is a short-term stay at a community and many assisted livings offer this service for caregivers who need a break or for patients recovering from surgery or another incident that puts them in the hospital or rehab, and they are just not ready to go home immediately after discharge. For example, we have families call us, who want to go out of town for a wedding or vacation and mom or dad just is not able to make the trip. Mom or dad would be able to stay with us for a week or two weeks while the family is away. Respite is also a nice way to give assisted living a trial run to see if the community and/or assisted living is right for you and your family if you are considering this option down the road.

Stacey Bonner: What are the benefits of short-term overnight respite?

Dana Hentschel: The benefits of respite are a break, not only for the caregiver but also for the family member. Sometimes, your loved one can benefit from a change of scenery and being around people his or her own age and the socialization that that provides.

Stacey Bonner: What can family caregivers and that aging loved one or the one that you are caring for expect during a short-term overnight stay?

Dana Hentschel: A family caregiver and their loved one can expect to be treated just like a full-time resident during their stay. Often times, furniture is provided; however, I have had some families in the past bring in their own furniture, favorite armchair even for short stay in order to make the apartment feel more like home. Each assisted living varies as far as how they handle respite stays. Some assisted livings will offer this service for as little as an overnight stay while others may have five?to?seven-day minimum stay.

Stacey Bonner: Should a person plan ahead when arranging a short-term overnight stay?

Dana Hentschel: Yes, yes, yes. It is extremely important to plan ahead. Often times, there is paperwork that must be completed by the familys physician which sometimes can take a while depending on the doctors schedule. Also, a TB skin test will need to be performed, and also the family will have some paperwork to complete as well. If their loved one has stayed at a community in the past, immediate placement isnt a problem, but inevitably emergency always happens on the weekend or after business hours, and there is no way to get doctors paperwork at that time. So, yes, please plan ahead because you never when you are going to need assistance. Some documents to gather in advance would be a power of attorney, living will, if applicable, and insurance cards.

Stacey Bonner: Thank you Dana.

Dana Hentschel: Thank you.

-- end of recording --

Posted 2014-05-09 06:00:14.