NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Waveny LifeCare Network strives to provide a continuum of healthcare to older adults. The mission of the non-profit New Canaan eldercare organization also applies to caregivers who feel stressed and depressed by their daily duties by offering respite care.
Respite care, a service offered by The Village at Waveny, provides caregivers with a break by providing safe, temporary lodging and care for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. It enables caregivers to rest, relax and catch up with family.
“People who provide care for a loved one with something such as Alzheimer’s need to take advantage of services that allow them to step away from the caregiver role from time to time,” said Gay Bond, RN, Director of Resident Care at The Village at Waveny.
“Caregivers should know that we welcome short-term guests for stays as brief as a week or as long as a month or more,” added Ginny Carroll, Director of Admissions at Waveny. “Whether taking a vacation or simply enjoying some time to themselves, caregivers can enjoy peace of mind knowing their loved one is safe and being cared for by a highly-qualified compassionate staff.”
Nearly 15.5 million family and friends provided 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care to people with Alzheimer's and other dementias last year. Nearly 60 percent of these caregivers rate their emotional stress as high or very high, and more than one-third reported symptoms of depression.
“Respite services offer adult children and spouses of people with memory loss a chance to recharge their batteries,’’ Bond said. “When you are involved in 24-hour care, day-to-day tasks are harder to take care of and you begin to neglect your own needs.”
Caregivers to people with Alzheimer's frequently provide care for more than 40 hours a week, and thus face a greater risk of developing stress-induced health issues.
Respite services can alleviate some caregiver burden and, in doing so, help to maintain personal well-being and a healthy lifestyle. Many caregivers also find that when care is resumed at home after a respite stay, everyone in the family feels less stressed.
Individuals with memory loss can find multiple benefits from short-term stays in a therapeutic residential setting. Waveny’s social, recreational, cultural and memory-enhancing activities helps a respite guest’s mental health. In addition, assessments for rehabilitation to increase strength and balance are available, as are complete medication assessments and evaluations for services that can enable a safe return home.
Some senior communities are now even treating dementia with a social model of care. In the social model approach of dementia care, the focus is placed on the residents’ cognitive needs rather than on medical or physical needs. Activity is centered on stimulating the mind. Residents feel a greater sense of belonging, comfort, and security and enjoy a better quality of life.
Short-term stays also enable families and seniors to gain a sense of trust and confidence in caregivers outside the home, said Ron Bucci, Waveny Campus Administrator. “Caregivers should know that they are not alone and that there are highly-qualified people and community resources available to help them,’’ he said.
Bucci also said a respite stay can serve as a helpful and convenient way for families and potential residents to try assisted living before long-term decisions are made. “The personalized solutions we can offer through a continuum approach are invaluable,” said Bucci. “When used together with other services like our Adult Day Program or companion care, it’s a really powerful recipe for caregiver relief.”
For more information about respite programs at The Village at Waveny and or any of Waveny LifeCare Network’s residences, programs or services, call 1-855-WAVENY-1 or visit www.waveny.org.