5 Tips for Choosing a Short-Term Respite Home

5 Tips for Choosing a Short-Term Respite Home

You may not be as young as you once were, and it’s time to replace that knee or that hip. Or maybe you have cataract surgery coming up or some other procedure that will severely limit your ability to live independently. Your family members live too far away to help on a day-to-day basis—or maybe they have their own projects or other people to care for. Perhaps your usual caregiver requires a vacation or they have a family emergency that will take them away from helping you for a few days or weeks. What can be done?

The answer is to find a short-term respite home. Respite care is a variety of short-term or temporary care of people who are sick or disabled that takes place over a few days or weeks, designed to provide relief to the regular caregiver. In this case, you would also be able to try out Solterra Senior Living for yourself, before making the choice to move into an assisted care home, memory care home, or independent living in the future. Here are five tips for choosing a short-term respite home.

Take a Tour

If you’re able to, it’s a good idea to take a tour as part of the process. Shop around, visit a few different places. Ask friends and family members for testimonials, if they’ve spent time in any short-term respite home themselves or for ideas if they’ve heard of accommodations that are especially nice or have specialty care you might need. Spend time in these places as well: hang out in the common areas, see if it’s a place you can see yourself enjoying. What’s the ambiance like? Does it make you excited to be there?

Ask questions during the tour. If you have any doubts about what to expect or answers you receive, dig deeper. It’s always better to have too much information than not enough. Other things to ask about are social time and amenities. Since you’re a part-time or short-time visitor, will you have the same access to social activities, programs, and events as full-time residents of the home?

Meet the Caregivers

Ask if you can meet some of the caregivers who will be helping you and who you’re going to interact with every day. It’s easy to tell who is excited about their job and who you’ll be able to get along with if you know you’ll be spending a lot of time with them. Hopefully, this will get you excited about spending your time with them too. The helpers and personnel at the high-caliber homes you visit will be happy to answer any questions you have and will be able to answer them to your satisfaction.

So often, we feel as if we’re pestering people in situations like these, but you must remember: this is your life. This will be your life for at least a few weeks, and it’s important that you’re satisfied with the answers they provide. You could find yourself in a situation you don’t like or realize something went unsaid or was missed in conversation. The stress of that situation might result in longer healing time for you. Or maybe you won’t have a positive experience in the time you spend on your stay away from your home.

Ask for Help with Your Research

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If you’re not able to do this research yourself, or if you want someone else to handle it because you’re focused on your procedure or other important things, you can also have a friend or family member help you with this information-gathering. If there isn’t someone available, there are other resources you can use. You could hire a special-needs caregiver or senior-care aide. You can also contact a state agency or find help through local volunteer groups, local councils on aging, or your senior center or faith community.

But remember: even if someone helps you with this, taking a tour is still something you should do in-person. You might find there’s a location that looks good on paper but that you absolutely do not like, or a home that really speaks to you, despite the lack of something you thought you wanted.

Pay Attention to Location

Make sure to take a few minutes to consider the location of the care home. If you’ve been thinking about moving to a different part of town or even a different state, this might be an opportunity to test it out. For instance, Solterra Senior Living has several locations throughout Arizona, so even if you’re only able to tour one location close to you, maybe you’d like to test out moving to a new city when the time comes.

This is also a time to consider your family and friends. If you move to the other side of town, are you going to be closer to them? Will it be easier or more difficult for them to reach you? If you anticipate many visits from your family, ask the personnel at the respite home what the procedure is for visiting, and whether visitors are welcome and encouraged to visit. Are there visiting hours? Are there any limits to visits, such as parking?

Think About Your Needs

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Another thing to consider: what do you imagine your life will be like for this short time? Are you looking forward to a different routine or to something like what you’re used to? Do you look forward to spending time with different people of a similar age to yours, who might be going through the same thing you are, or do you suspect that you’ll be happier on your own or one-on-one with a temporary caregiver?

Consider what your needs will be and ask these questions when you go on different tours. It could be a long few weeks if you move in and the situation is completely different than what you expected. Think about all the different facets of your interesting life, your hobbies, your needs, how you like to spend your time. Perhaps you can’t bring your piano with you to play for an hour every afternoon as is your habit—is there a piano already in one of the common areas? Will they let you play for an hour, or is there a time limit because there’s a waiting list? Is quiet time in the afternoon, but they’d let you play in the morning?

We’d love to show you around our different care homes in Arizona. Visit our website to see if Solterra is right for you. Check out our additional page of resources here as well. We look forward to answering your questions.

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