What is Respite Care & Why is it Important?
Respite refers to a short time of rest or relief and provides a break from the typical care routine. Respite care is offered by many different organizations; including church groups, nursing and retirement homes and organizations like the Alzheimer's Alliance Tri-State Area who specialize in caring for those with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Respite care is beneficial to both the caregiver and the loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, allowing them time apart from their normal routine.
While respite care is beneficial to both the caregiver and their loved one, it is essential that the caregiver is allowed time to take care of themselves. Research suggests that just one day of respite care can add 23 days to the life of the caregiver. This time allows them to take care of their own needs, whether that is shopping, catching up on reading or just relaxing.
While the caregiver is tending to his/her own needs, their loved one is being cared for in a safe, secure environment. Our Place Day Respite Center, a program of the Alzheimer’s Alliance Tri-State Area, cares for those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in a homelike environment three days per week. While at Our Place, our Friends (those who come to visit us with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia), are engaging in worthwhile activities with our Companions (trained volunteers).
At Our Place Day Respite Center, our Friends and Companions spend the day playing games (dominoes, chicken foot, bingo and many more), eating great food and listening to music. These activities engage the mind of our Friends, which is shown to be beneficial to their overall health and slow the progression of dementia & Alzheimer’s disease. Our greatest responses come from music, our Friends love to sing along to familiar tunes and are known to occasionally dance when an upbeat tune is played.
After bringing their loved ones to Our Place, many caregivers express their regret in not trying it sooner. They say that their stress levels are lower throughout the week and experience less caregiver burnout as they continue to bring their loved one to Our Place.
To find respite care services in your area, visit your local Area Agency on Aging or look online. For more information on Our Place Day Respite Center call the Alzheimer's Alliance Tri-State at 903.223.8021, view our website at www.alztristate.org or visit our office located at 100 Memory Lane, Texarkana, TX 75503.