Respite Care Transition to Senior Living

Respite Care

Respite care is for when a caregiver needs someone else to take care of his or her loved one for a short time. This break provides caregivers with some downtime to relax and recharge. Their loved one also gets a fresh change of pace in a new, welcoming environment. During a respite stay, seniors have the opportunity to experience the lifestyle of a senior living community and participate in daily activities with current residents. 

“Saunders House offers many exciting and invigorating Life Enrichment programs,” says Margie Hennessey, Admissions Director of Saunders House, located in Wynnewood, PA. “Respite care guests are welcome to join in on the activities and events during their stay. We offer plenty of opportunities for engagement at our community such as active games, art and music activities and intellectual discussions on current events.” 

There are a lot of reasons why seniors might want to make the transition to long-term care in a senior living community. Compared to staying at home, they have much to offer. While seniors who live at home might struggle with problems like isolation and lack of things to do, those who live in a senior living community have plenty of ways to make friends with other residents (and team members) and to take advantage of the lifestyle activities they would enjoy. The nutritious meals offered ensure that residents are eating as healthily as possible. Overall, residents in senior living communities have more opportunities to meet their social, physical and mental needs in order to maintain their health and overall well-being. 

The Benefits of Saunders House Living

Saunders House has a lot to offer to its residents:

  • A highly skilled and caring team. Nurses, physicians and nutrition specialists are here to give the best care to residents.
  • Therapy. A range of therapies are available to residents as needed.
  • A comfortable and warm environment. Private and semi-private rooms, three meals a day, unlimited visiting hours and friendly team members make Saunders House feel like home.
  • Life Enrichment programs. With plenty of activities to choose from, residents can pick what they would like to do based on their capabilities and preferences.
  • Common areas. There are lounges, outdoor patios and recreation spaces for residents to enjoy. 

Since respite care guests are welcome to the same amenities and activities as long-term residents, short-term residents might find that they enjoy this kind of lifestyle. Caregivers may even find that there are signs that a move to a senior living community would be a good option for their loved one.

When to Consider a Senior Living Community

  • Your loved one cannot move safely around the house. Restricted mobility can make staircases and heavy or otherwise hard-to-open doors more challenging.
  • Has trouble remembering to turn off appliances. Forgetting to turn off stoves and ovens is a major hazard.
  • Can’t maintain hygiene. Difficulty showering or brushing teeth can lead to skipping these necessary routines for days at a time.
  • Needs help with chores and meals. Not being able to clean or cook for themselves puts a lot of responsibility on the caregiver and can sometimes be too much.
  • Not able to take medicine safely. Issues with correct dosage and time makes daily medication a health risk for the senior. 

These are a few signs that suggest long-term care may be better suited for your loved one. Once these signs are noticed, it may be time to start the transition to a senior living community. This can be a sensitive and difficult topic to discuss with your loved one; but remember that his/her safety and quality of life is what is most important. 

Transitioning to a Senior Living Community

Moving from home to a senior living community might be tough. However, there are ways for the caregiver to help their loved one make the transition.

  • Start the conversation. If a senior needs 24/7 care to remain safe, then it’s time to start the path to long-term care. However, they shouldn’t feel like the decision is being made for them.
  • Help them move. Be there to reassure and support them throughout the moving process. This is a big change, and the caregiver can be a source of comfort.
  • Personalize their new room. Decorate their room before they move in so it already feels like home. The familiarity will help them transition into the senior living community.
  • Communicate with staff. Let the staff know about their new resident and talk about their personality, interests, likes and dislikes. This allows the staff to have an early personal connection to your loved one.
  • Eat with them. After the move-in process, you and your loved one should have a meal together. This provides quiet, one-on-one time to give more reassurance and encouragement.

After seeing the benefits of living in a senior living community, respite care guests may decide they want to live there. Caregivers might think that 24/7 care is better for their loved one. The transition isn’t always easy, but there are ways to make it less stressful. 

“Saunders House is dedicated to anyone staying here, whether it’s with respite care or long-term care,” says Margie. We continue to strive for the best care possible, providing our residents with skilled nurses, comfortable amenities and meaningful activities to enrich their lives.”

We’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

If you have comments or questions about our blog, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences with us in our comments section. 

Discover Our Healthy Tradition of Care and Wellness

Located adjacent to Lankenau Medical Center, Saunders House – part of Main Line Senior Care Alliance – has a celebrated tradition of providing exceptional care and services to seniors and their families. It’s a tradition we’re proud to continue.

Today, Saunders House offers a range of services – including short-term rehabilitation, traditional nursing care, restorative care, memory care, respite care and specialized care for individuals with visual impairments – all in a setting that is warm, welcoming and nurturing. 

For more information on Saunders House, our Short-Term Rehabilitation program and other professional services, please call us today at (610) 658-5100 or contact us online.

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Saunders House and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.


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