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Respite care provides benefits for seniors and their family members

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- On any given day in the United States, well over 280,000 people, mostly senior citizens, use a respite or adult day care service.

For American Senior Communities, the numbers are in the hundreds.

Respite care is a service which helps both clients and loved ones who care for them.

"It’s a great need for the community. One of the things that we see more and more,  families have a caregiver role at home,” said Janean Kinzie, the Director of Social Wellness and enrichment at ASC. “What accompanies that is unfortunately caregiver stress, which is anxiety, tiredness, withdrawal from things that that caregiver would normally like to do.”

Kinzie says that’s where respite care comes into play.

“Caregivers can have that break. They can still go on vacation. They can still go to Florida and see their daughter and come back and feel refreshed and invigorated,” she said.

Respite care for seniors involves any number of activities- usually exercise of some sort. Hair and beauty services are offered. Physical, occupational and even speech therapy can be scheduled as well.

Getting seniors moving and socializing are key components.

“Just to wear them out,” said Kasside Vanallen, Memory Care Facilitator for ASC. “They can sometimes be up at night, which will be causing issues for them, so we can keep them active during the day. They tend to sleep better at night as well.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) there are 4,800 adult day service centers in the U.S.

Respite service is offered at all American Senior Community facilities in Indiana. The service is flexible; clients can be dropped off for a day, a week or somewhat longer, depending on the need.

“The cost is reasonable for many families,” said Kinzie. “Some insurance plans do pay. Medicaid pays as well.”

According to the website A Place For Mom, average daily fees range from $40-$60.

Auguste’s Cottage, which is Allisonville Meadows' memory unit, is secured. Once clients become adjusted, if they need to make a more permanent transition to full-time care, that experience can be less traumatic simply because they know the place.

“There is a lot of anxiety about that transition, both for the family member and for the resident. And so respite stay does a lot; it gives them an opportunity to experience that environment in a less intimidating way,” said Kinzie.

Kinzie recommends families become aware of their needs.

“Knowing when you need a break, and knowing there is an answer- that there is help. You can feel rejuvenated and still maintain your own interests and health,” she said.

For more on respite care, click here.

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