Hospice care and respite care are two forms of typically short-term care. While they may have a few similarities, such as their short-term nature or the teams of professional caregivers, they are very different types of care.
Respite care is a short-term care option, while hospice care is reserved for individuals whom doctors expect to have 6 months or less to live.
By the end of this article, you should have a good understanding of the differences between these care types and the options available.
What Is Hospice Care?
Hospice care is specialized care for individuals with an advanced terminal illness, such as cancer. It’s typically meant to be a short-term solution when doctors expect a person to live for 6 months or less because treatment is no longer possible.
One thing about entering hospice care that’s important to remember is that it does not mean you or your loved one is “giving up.” When treatment for a disease like cancer is no longer effective, hospice care can provide a higher quality of life with symptom management right until the end.
Where Does Hospice Care Take Place?
Most communities that offer hospice care, seek to make it as comfortable and homelike as possible to give their residents a high-quality life. However, it’s important to note that it’s still not home. Some families may prefer for their loved one to remain at home. In situations like this, there are often professional caregivers that can offer in-home hospice care.
What Is Respite Care?
While respite care is also a short-term care option, it’s for a much different purpose.
Many communities offer respite care services as a way that the older adult can see what it’s like to live in a community as opposed to their family home, perhaps with a loved one as their caregiver.
For example, if your loved one is developing dementia, they will eventually have special care needs for which memory care could be a solution. At Fox Trail in Cresskill, we offer respite care that gives your loved one a chance to see what life is like in a Fox Trail community should a permanent move be necessary.
Respite care is also used as an opportunity for a caregiver to take a break from their caregiving duties. Communities offer respite care so that your loved one can have a safe place to continue receiving the care they need, while their caregiver is able to rest and recharge.
Additionally, respite care can be used when a loved one is recovering from a procedure or surgery and requires more attention and support than a caregiver alone is able to offer.
Common Respite Care Options
There isn’t a one-size answer for which respite care is best for you and your family. There are at-home or community options. And some areas have adult day centers that can provide either partial or full-day care.
The thought of leaving their family home can be overwhelming for many seniors. And in many cases, close friends or family members are the first to step up when an older adult begins needing assistance in their daily life.
This works well for many families. But inevitably a family caregiver will need a break or want to go on vacation. If the senior has no intention of relocating, hiring a professional caregiver to provide in-home respite care may be a good option.
Adult Day Center
An adult day center, sometimes called adult day care, is a respite care option that provides a place where seniors can spend the day. This can provide great socialization opportunities for seniors who otherwise may not get them as often.
The interesting thing about socialization—especially amongst seniors—is that there are studies that demonstrate its effectiveness in improving mood, memory, and cognitive function. Social activities are generally associated with healthy activity, which can help prevent a sedentary lifestyle.
Respite Care Community
Another option that seniors and their caregivers can take advantage of is a community offering respite care services. This kind of lifestyle choice can benefit a senior in several ways. For example, the adult’s family may use respite care in a memory care community to explore it as a permanent option.
Even if a transition to a permanent stay isn’t the goal, the senior can still benefit from the home-like feel of a community. Plus, the staff the community employs will be experienced in the specific care the adult needs, plus there are typically entire teams of caregivers instead of only 1 or 2.
What is the Difference Between Hospice Care and Respite Care
Respite care is a short-term care option, typically used by seniors as a trial for entering a retirement community or when a family-member or caregiver is taking a vacation or break. On the other hand, hospice is typically reserved for individuals whom doctors expect to live 6 months or less. Hospice care provides specialized care to keep the person as comfortable as possible until they pass.
Explore Your Options with Fox Trail
The compassionate team at Fox Trail in Cresskill is specially trained to help your loved one receive proper care while treated with dignity and respect. Contact us today, and we’re happy to schedule a community visit for you and your senior loved one.