Respite care for Toronto seniors
Learn more about senior caregiving near you
Toronto caregivers and families seeking respite care for seniors (often Alzheimer's and dementia sufferers) have several options including the following:
- Home care services hired on an hourly basis offer short term alleviation of caregiver stress
- Adult day programs offer hourly or short-term relief of caregivers, with programs that help seniors exercise their minds and otherwise get dedicated nursing care, along with any other help needed with activities of daily living (ADLs).
- A short stay (even a trial stay) in a retirement care facility presents your loved one with round-the clock care in an environment dedicated to senior care and/or memory care.
List of respite care providers in Toronto
Family members often "spell each other off" in a caregiving scenario. However, when you get professional respite care, you get professional help.
There are a number of advantages to this:
- You know that your loved one is being cared for by someone with professional training and an understanding of professional techniques such as the Gentle Persuasive Approach.
- You can learn things from the professional caregiver, sharing knowledge, and learning some simple care-giving techniques that will augment what you are doing on your own, and what you yourself know about your parent or loved one.
Respite care is offered as a service of the Ontario Ministry of Health, and is available by contacting your Local Health Integration Network. Your needs will be assessed by a LHIN representative, and all your options will be fully explained. The LHIN defines this type of stay separately from convalescent care, a service also offered by some residences. Learn more about convalescent care in Toronto.
Homes listed here offer respite care stays
A temporary stay in a retirement home offers some distinct advantages including the following:
- Dedicated care facilities. For Alzheimer's and dementia sufferers, a temporary stay in a retirement home can be well-advised, since care homes are increasingly implementing hall and space design that takes into account the needs of dementia sufferers.
- The social aspect of being in a home is also very healthy.
- Activities and therapies offered by some homes including Brain Games and various other activities that encourage interaction with others and do have therapeutic effects that you may not be able to instill in your own home.
- 24 hour nursing care that includes dedicated assisted care with activities of daily living (ADLs).
Home care services with respite care, in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
Home care service providers in Toronto offer respite care with a number of important advantages you simply can't find through other means.
These advantages include:
- A social aspect, especially as found in day programs, of which there are several throughout downtown and the rest of the GTA. Social interaction with other seniors can help ease some effects of dementia, for example, and is healthy for a variety of other reasons
- Professionally trained caregiving. In-home personal service workers are certified and professionally trained. They have experience working with other seniors and dementia sufferers.
The Ontario Home Care Association cautions against hiring non-accredited help. Well over half of Ontario families polled are unaware of the dangers of hiring non-professional help; people have hired help based on a too-easy job interview and a few references. Proper caregiving is very difficult and challenging, even dangerous. In many cases, untrained, unqualified people (including family members) are simply not prepared for the difficulties and frustrations of caregiving. In the worst cases, this can lead to unfortunate effects that can include abuse (verbal, even physical). You are well-advised to get professional help instead, and you'll never regret spending a bit of extra money to get respite from professional caregivers.
Respite care for parents or other family members is a wise idea
Respite care can be a much-needed break for caregivers, a time to re-connect with friends and family in a relaxed way. You can also use briefer respite care time to shop, work out or run errands when needed, or just take some time for yourself to do some things you like to do. This is a perfectly reasonable way for you to refresh your strength and energy.
Any expert in this area will counsel you that it is, in fact, smart to take a break so that you can be a better caregiver later, and your loved one can benefit from the best of all possible worlds – availing themselves of tactical professional care when needed while getting loving care from members of their own family. When you "broaden your team" of caregivers, you can learn more from each other and get professional advice from people gaining experience directly with your ailing loved one.
Many others have gone before you, too. Read more about how others have dealt with fatigue, learned lessons and can offer advice to help you deal with caregiving stress.
Mississauga LHIN: healthcareathome.ca/mh/en
Toronto LHIN: healthcareathome.ca/torontocentral/en