Home » Senior Living News Blog » How to Make Respite Care Work for a Loved One with Dementia
Dementia Care | August 5, 2013 | By Jonita Dixon

How to Make Respite Care Work for a Loved One with Dementia

How to Make Respite Care Work for a Loved One with DementiaThe National Center for Biotechnology Information conducted a study, which proved that exposing dementia patients to respite has a positive effect on their behavior and memory. You might have been worried or feeling guilty about leaving your loved one with dementia for a respite care stay. However, this finding has proved that it can be beneficial for the health of your loved one.

Despite this, you may face difficulties when using respite, especially if it’s for the first time. Some patients of dementia may refuse to leave home or leave their caregivers even for a short while. Others might request to go home while at the memory care respite facility. It is not unusual to encounter these problems, so you should not let them get in the way of your break. There are a number of ways to manage these problems, so that you and your loved one can experience the full benefits of respite resort stay facilities.

Tips on avoiding distress

Most patients of dementia are uncomfortable to be in a new environment and around new people. This is why it is important that you plan ahead, so that the person you are caring for can have a positive respite experience. Here are a few tips to help you in preventing distress or objections from your loved one:

  • Plan ahead but avoid discussing about the arrangements too early. When you’re telling your loved one about the arrangements, make sure you use positive phrases. For instance, try using the term “a little holiday” instead of “a break”.
  • Give proper reassurance to your loved one and let them know that they will be getting good care and will be returning home soon.
  • Make it a point to let them know that you are feeling positive about the holiday even if you really are nervous. It is true that showing any sign of uncertainty or insecurity can scare your loved one and leave them unsettled.

Tips on making the most of respite care

Respite resort stay facilities can be a godsend for many caregivers. The key to getting the most out of respite care services for dementia patients is to chalk out a proper plan. Follow these tips to help you benefit from these facilities.

  • For many caregivers, starting with small breaks is the best way to make respite care work for them. These breaks can give you and the person you are caring for a little taste of the respite experience. Once you are both comfortable with it, the breaks can even build up to longer ones.
  • Try to work together with the respite staff in providing a positive experience for your loved one. Consider that you and the staff members have formed a partnership in caring for a family member with dementia.
  • It can take time for a dementia patient to develop a sense of trust for the respite caregivers. One failure should not stop you. If you have tried respite before but did not like the experience, it is still recommended that you try again. Your loved one might get used to the experience over time, or you could even plan to do certain things differently the next time.

If you’re considering a respite stay for your loved one the caring associates at Carlton Senior Living are here to guide you through the process and to answer any questions you may have.