Understanding short term stays and recuperative stays

Understanding Respite and Convalescent stay options


It is often easy to be confused with the different types and styles of care offered in retirement living communities.  Knowledge of the different terminology with regard to services offered will make your choices much easier. Respite and convalescent care are very specific terms used in our industry, and I am hopeful this article will shed some light on those two areas of care. In easier terms, just for reference, let's think of them as short terms stays and recuperative stays.

Respite care

Respite care is a short term stay, which may provide a period of relief for the primary caregiver.  Often we see respite stays used when the caregiver is planning a vacation and are concerned about their loved one being alone. 

In respite care, or short term care, the retirement community staff assume caregiver responsibilities for a period of time, ranging from a weekend and up to a month, depending on the Community.  During this time both the caregiver and their loved one have an opportunity to re-energize, and address the personal needs that may have gone undetected.

Residents who experience respite care enjoy all the amenities provided to the permanent residents, and it is an excellent way to assess if the residence may be a right fit, should the time come, when more care is necessary.

Most suites come

•Fully furnished with kitchenette and private bathroom including safety shower.

•Telephone, Cable, Internet and wearable 24/7 emergency response system

•Access to Nurse and Wellness team

•Medication assistance and management services

•Three meals and snacks daily

•Weekly laundry and housekeeping services

•Daily activities and outings

•Scheduled transportation

Costs for respite vary from community to community and may start out as low as 75.00/day.

Convalescent care

Convalescent care, or recuperative care,  in a retirement community is primarily for older adults who require recovery time with care, prior to returning home following illness, surgery or other medical procedures. 
In retirement communities convalescent care is often sought after post hip or knee surgery, when more recovery time is required before returning home.  Stays often last from 2 to 6 weeks and arrangements for more time than that are generally accommodated as long as there is an availability. It is truly suggested that you book a convalescent room in a residence as soon as you have your surgery date. This is especially true if you prefer a particular residence.

Residents who experience convalescent stays enjoy all the amenities provided to the permanent residents as listed above, in respite care, along with:

  • Daily housekeeping and bed making
  • Assistance with mobility
  • Incontinence assistance
  • Portering to and from the dining room
  • Tray service to the room, until the person is able to dine in the dining room


Staff are available to assist you in regaining your strength and mobility, to enable you to carry out your activities of daily living independently, when you return home. In the event physiotherapy or occupational therapy is required, the Wellness Coordinator is available to ensure all necessary requirements are in place, enduring, you have a transition back to health that is as safe and as speedy as possible.

The costs of recuperative stays range anywhere from $100.00/day and upwards, depending on the level of care that is need.

More often than not, both respite and convalescent stays often forge new friendships and build new memories while in a retirement community.  Both types of service offer peace of mind, for not only the older adult, but also for family and friends that are often involved. Often while the older adult is in residence, we see them feel better and spirits lifted as they interact with the community at large.

Article by:

Aspira Empire Crossing Retirement Living a retirement community located in Port Hope, Ontario.
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