Desire to Fill Social Needs for Elderly Change Face of Respite Care

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Aging population drives “social” model for temporary care.

As today’s caregivers - and those in their care - better understand the part that social interaction plays in maintaining mental and physical health, respite care that focuses on filling social needs will be increasingly valued.

Respite care – care that provides a short-term reprieve for full-time caregivers – has often been used by those in need of support with daily living, or to help care for those who suffer from chronic disabilities or illness such as Alzheimer’s disease. But as today’s population ages, respite care may be seeing a shift in focus toward social needs. Seniors, while still dependent on loved ones for care, are living longer and leading more active lives. As such, they are as likely to require companionship and recreational activities as medical care or assistance with daily living activities.

While demand for respite care has grown significantly over the last five years, respite care that provides interaction with peers has added to that demand. “There is more readiness on the part of Baby Boomers who are serving as primary caregivers to their aging parents to seek out ways for their loved ones to remain engaged socially during planned time away,” said Robert F. Brooks, CEO of ElderCarelink. “As today’s caregivers - and those in their care - better understand the part that social interaction plays in maintaining mental and physical health, respite care that focuses on filling social needs will be increasingly valued.”

The growth of the social respite care model has lead to an upsurge in community-based programs, not-for-profits, private organizations, and volunteer-based organizations such as Meals on Wheels, or companionship services to fill the demand. Below are some of the respite care resources available in many communities that are likely to focus on social components. It is always important to ask questions regarding licensing, insurance, training, and background checks for staff while seeking respite care.

  • Private Respite Care. Your community or local organization may have a Caregiver Registry. Respite care agencies can also offer private care that is often not part of government program.
  • Volunteer Services. Non-profit and faith-based organizations are rising to meet caregiver needs and may offer no-cost respite care for families, usually for those who are income eligible.
  • Adult Day Care. In addition to providing cost-effective alternatives to home care for elderly with medical needs, adult day care programs can provide variety of social networking and recreational activities.
  • State Coalitions. Consisting of public and private organizations and community members, coalitions provide resources for temporary care and other caregiver resources.

About ElderCarelink

ElderCarelink, a leading provider of qualified lead generation services within the eldercare industry, assists families in finding a multitude of senior services, including respite care, assisted living, nursing homes, adult day care, private duty nursing, care management and homecare in all 50 states. More about finding eldercare assistance or joining our network of providers can be found at http://www.eldercarelink.com.

Media Contact:

Ken Housman

508-881-3440

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