For Families Who Need a Break, Assisted Living Autumn Leaves of Oswego Offers Respite Care for Those Living With Alzheimer's and Other Forms of Dementia

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Assisted living memory care community opens doors this summer for respite stays for those living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. For caregivers, rest and renewal is essential, say staff members at Autumn Leaves of Oswego.

'Our Respite Care gives families peace of mind. They know their loves one will stay active and safe, and they’ll receive good care,' said Mary Behringer, Regional Director of Operations for Autumn Leaves.

Autumn Leaves of Oswego, Ill. announces that it will offer overnight respite care this summer at its memory care community for those living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

Many caregivers feel they must pass up a summer vacation because they have no options for the care of their loved ones while they’re away. And traveling with a person with dementia may be out of the question. A change in routine can lead to confusion and agitation, and some people with dementia tend to wander and get lost, especially in unfamiliar surroundings.

To help meet this need in the community, Autumn Leaves of Oswego offers an overnight respite care program. Respite care visitors enjoy the same benefits as Autumn Leaves’ permanent residents: three freshly prepared meals each day, a full schedule of activities, and assistance with daily living activities. In addition, a nurse is on-site seven days a week, 24 hours a day, to help manage healthcare issues if needed.

Also, Autumn Leaves is designed so that residents may stroll safely around the building as well as in the secured outdoor courtyard area. That means freedom of movement while staying safe.

“Our Respite Care gives families peace of mind. They know their loved ones will stay active and safe, and they’ll receive good care,” said Mary Behringer, Regional Director of Operations for Autumn Leaves.

During their stay, residents also enjoy the community’s Inspired Connections program of life engagement activities, which includes exercise, games, entertainment, continuing education, arts and crafts, and a summer favorite, ice cream socials.

“Initially, some families are reluctant to leave a loved one with us,” said Barbara Conkrit, Life Engagement Manager for Autumn Leaves of Oswego. “But often, when they return, they’re pleasantly surprised to see that their loved one is more alert and happy. Our schedule of activities, combined with the social interaction with other residents, keeps our residents happily occupied.”

In addition, active engagement can help reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s such as agitation, confusion or withdrawal.

Some families may be reluctant to use respite care, feeling they should “do it all” to care for a loved one’s needs, according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s Respite Care Guide.

“Seeking help does not make you a failure,” the Guide says. “It’s important to remember that respite services benefit the person with dementia as well as the caregiver.”

Getting away is particularly important for caregivers, especially those who are seniors themselves. Caring for a person with dementia who needs assistance with daily living activities – eating and bathing, for example – can be physically demanding. In many cases, people with dementia have difficulty sleeping, and that can mean disturbed sleep for the caregiver, too.

“The constant stress of caring for a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia can compromise the health of the caregiver,” said Brenda Abbott-Shultz, Vice President of Health Care for Autumn Leaves. “Studies show that caregivers are more likely to experience health problems themselves.”

For those who are looking to eventually move a family member into a memory care community permanently, respite care offers a good way to “try out” a community.

“Some of our residents came to us by way of a respite care stay,” says Behringer. “Their families were so pleased when they saw how their loved ones thrived during their stay, and chose Autumn Leaves when they needed permanent residential memory care.”

Respite Care residents must complete admission paperwork and must reserve space in advance. For more information, call Jason O’Higgins at 331-333-2376.

Family-owned and operated memory care assisted living communities, Autumn Leaves® is dedicated to serving those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Autumn Leaves communities are committed to providing exceptionally high-quality care and research-based programs that allow for safe, secure, and active environments for its residents. An acknowledged leader in memory care, Autumn Leaves combines clinical expertise, knowledge of dementia, and heartfelt compassion to create the best possible care environment. Autumn Leaves currently operates 36 communities in 4 states with the ability to serve more than 1,800 residents. For more information, visit or call 888-662-8886.

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Kristin Dupont
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