Tip Sheet

Respite Tips: Taking a Break From Giving Care to Someone in Need

Sources of Respite

  • Time and assistance from family or friends
  • Professional (paid) in-home help
  • Adult Day Health Care
  • Temporary placement outside the home in an assisted care residence
  • For Veterans: Up to 30 days of respite care per year is available to enrolled Veterans as determined by the Veteran’s treatment team. You can talk with the Veteran's Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) social worker, case manager, or the Caregiver Support Coordinator (CSC) for more information about what respite options exist in your area.

Residential Care Options: Visiting Someone in Dementia Care

When someone has just moved into a dementia community

  • During the first two weeks, visit often and stay as long as you want.
    • If the facility has a policy of not allowing visitors for the first two weeks during the adjustment period, consider whether this is the right facility for you.
       
  • Announce yourself to your loved one: “Hi mom, it’s me, Susan.”
     
  • Introduce yourself to the staff.
     
  • Bring favorite foods. Decorate the room with familiar objects.

Residential Care Options: Caregiving Doesn't End When Your Loved One Moves

After your loved one moves to a facility, what happens? What is your role as a caregiver? How often should you visit? How can you best help your loved one adjust to their new living environment? How do you cope with your feelings about the move? Here are some tips to help you answer these questions and more.

Residential Care Options: Choosing the Right Place

What should you think about and do as you explore different residential care options? First, keep your own needs in mind as well as the needs of your loved one. Before visiting facilities, see the FCA Tip Sheet, Residential Care Options: The Right Time. Be sure you are ready for this decision—it will make it easier for you to look at all options with an open mind. There are many checklists and guides to help you evaluate care facilities. A few are listed at the end of this Tip Sheet.

 

Residential Care Options: Housing Options

Choosing the right place for a loved one to live, if not at home can be challenging. The options available depend on the kind of care that is needed, your loved one’s personal preferences, and finances. All facilities require a TB skin test and medical form completed by the doctor before admission.

Residential Care Options: The Right Time

Most caregivers are committed to keeping a frail or ill loved one at home as long as possible. Maybe they promised not to put the care receiver in a “nursing home”—the worst fear of many adults living with a debilitating illness. But there are many reasons why moving to residential care outside the home is not only necessary, but also the right thing to do. It is, however, a very difficult decision. Caregivers often struggle to care for a care receiver, waiting too long and compromising their own physical and emotional well-being, making the move even harder.

Residential Care Options: Five Tip Sheets

The fact sheet Residential Care Options is now available in five accessible FCA Tip Sheets. Click to view each of the following:

Behavior Issues

Individuals with dementia or other conditions may exhibit confusing or challenging behaviors at times. Here are tips and guidance for handling common concerns to help caregivers better understand what their loved ones may be feeling or trying to communicate.

Bathing (for dementia)

  • People with dementia are often resistant to bathing. They will claim they just showered, or that they will do it later, or outright refuse to bathe. Unless someone is incontinent, daily bathing is not necessary. Pick your battles—once or twice a week may be sufficient. Coupling bathing with an activity is sometimes helpful, e.g. going to the doctor or out to lunch or having a bowl of ice cream.

Where to Find My Important Papers

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