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Respite care and adult day care are viable options for seniors and their families. Both types of care enable caregivers to take time for themselves, while the elders are able to socialize with others as well as have access to additional care.

With respite stays, individuals can move into an assisted living for short period of time–anywhere from two weeks up to several months. “Respite stays are used in many ways,” said Yari Velez, Executive Director at Cohen Florence Levine Estates assisted living in Chelsea. 

“They can build confidence after a significant health event. Think of it as a trial run for the future.” Velez added, “Families get a very real sense of what assisted living entails and whether it is a good fit for their loved one. Essentially, short-term stays offer all the services and amenities of traditional assisted living, without a long-term commitment.”

Is Respite Care Right for My Loved One?

People choose respite care for a variety of reasons. Generally, the possibility of moving an elder to an assisted living has been discussed among the individual and family members, but no definitive decision has been made. Staying temporarily at an assisted living will allow the senior and the family to experience it on a short-term basis. The results are twofold: the senior experiences what it’s like to live in an assisted living residence, and the “respite” provides a much-needed break for the caregiver(s).

“Respite care is an option for those who live in warmer climates such as Florida and Arizona year-round, and want to spend a few months up north in the summer,” said Andrea Hillel, Executive Director of Harriet and Ralph Kaplan Estates, the assisted living on the Peabody campus. “Individuals enjoy the many indoor and outdoor amenities and activities offered at the sprawling assisted living.”

Finding the Right Adult Day Care Program in Eastern Mass

Adult day care is another option that provides support for caregivers as well as help for seniors. At Shapiro Rudolph Adult Day Health Center on Chelsea Jewish Lifecare’s Peabody campus, seniors enjoy a myriad of activities, prepared meals and the companionship of other attendees as well as the staff members. For many families, this is a practical option since it allows adults to get the help they need while continuing to live in their own home. The Center also operates an award-winning, multi-generational program in conjunction with the preschool that is on the premises. “Children and elders get together to sing, conduct art projects, celebrate holidays and discuss current events,” Hillel noted. “It’s hard to say who enjoys the activities more — the seniors or the kids!”

“There’s no cut-and-dry solution for caring for an elderly individual,” said Hillel. “But the good news is that today there are a myriad of options for the senior and the caretakers.” She added, ”In terms of our respite care program, we’ve seen short-term residents ask to move in permanently as soon as possible. That’s a question we love to hear!”