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Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care: What is Respite Care and Why is That So Important? 

If you have a loved-one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you may have heard the term respite care. This is a term that many have misunderstood. Respite care is a home care option that gives family members temporary relief of the caregiving responsibilities. A professional caregiver will take over, allowing the family member to rest and recharge before continuing their task as a family caregiver.


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For those of you who take care of your parent around-the-clock, this option will give you a break for as little as an hour or as much as several weeks. It depends entirely on what your needs are. If respite care is something you are considering, here are several benefits that you and your loved-one will receive.


Relaxation – Constantly caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s disease can take a toll on one’s mental and physical health. This care option will allow you to do something to relax and relieve your stress. This could include going for a walk, getting a massage, or going on a little vacation.

Time alone – Spending countless hours with your elderly relative can make you wish to have some time to yourself. Having an Alzheimer’s caregiver take over for a short amount of time will give you the space you need, while also renewing your appreciation for your loved-one.

Socialize – Talking to friends or other family members may take a backseat when caring for a senior. Take back some of your social life by meeting a friend for coffee, going out to dinner, or by simply talking to someone on the phone.

Take care of other obligations – Do you have an appointment, meeting, work, or other obligation that needs your attention? Respite care will allow you to tend to these tasks by providing the Alzheimer’s care your elderly parent needs.

Discover your identity – As a family caregiver, it is easy to forget who you are outside of your caregiving responsibilities. Get in touch with who you were before taking on this role by partaking in a hobby that brings you joy or doing something else that will help you rediscover your own identity.

Exercise – Your health is equally as important as the senior’s health. Go for a walk, run, or take an exercise class as a way to clear your mind. Regular exercise also releases endorphins, which helps reduce stress. Exercise will help both your body and mind be in excellent shape.

Go back to work – Family caregiving can be a huge financial burden since it is typically an unpaid job. If you are in need of making a little extra money, use respite care to get back to work. Getting out of the house and into the working world may also allow you to reconnect with your loved-one without feeling resentful.

AARP reported that over 34 million adults provide unpaid care to someone over 50. Respite care will give you the opportunity to regain some of your pre-caregiving life back, while the elder still gets the dementia care they need.


Looking for more information? Check out the Family Guide to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care and our other guides, located here.






Approved Senior Network

Chief Senior Information Provider at Approved Senior Network
Our mission is to help families & seniors find the resources and care they need in their local community. Approved Senior Network is a trusted network of senior care providers. Families can speak with experienced local experts. Questions are answered by people who live and work in your area.

Navigating the senior care world is often frustrating and overwhelming. The members listed on Approved Senior Network are here to guide you and your family through the confusion and make elder care easier.