Planning respite care for your aging adult sounds more complicated than it really has to be. In all honesty, the portions of the planning that relate to what you need might be the most difficult part for you to estimate, especially the first few times you take time away.
How Much Time Do You Need?
If you know what you’re going to be doing during your respite time, you might want to make sure that you allot enough time for yourself. For situations that are more open-ended, you might find that you’re estimating this amount of time a little more. The best part about making respite time a regular occurrence is that you’ll get better about understanding how much time away you need.
Should This Be Something You Do More Often?
Is this a one-time situation or is this a plan for future respite care situations as well? If you’re new to taking respite time, you might feel more comfortable easing into this and spacing out your time away. As you get more relaxed about respite time, it might be easier to schedule more frequent opportunities away.
What Special Needs Does Your Senior Have?
Something else that you need to consider is the special needs that your elderly family member might have. If she needs help eating or toileting, then she might appreciate getting to know her home care providers a little better before you go away for longer periods of time. If her needs are a little less personal, such as offering stability as she walks, she might not need as long a period of introduction.
What Activities Might Your Senior Enjoy?
You know your elderly family member’s likes and dislikes, of course, but new respite care providers don’t. Try to brainstorm a few different activities that your senior might enjoy. Leaving these ideas can help to avoid any awkwardness as your senior adjusts to the fact that you’re not there with her. She’ll likely adjust very quickly, but it can still help to make some suggestions.
As other questions occur to you, make sure that you write them down. Make sure that you let home care providers know where to find emergency information, like your phone number, as well as anything that your elderly family member might need while you’re gone. Putting together an information packet specifically for respite can help you keep all that in one place.