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The Gift of Respite

By: Dr. Cate McCarty

Depending on your social support, your loved one’s stage and the help you have put into place, a season of comfort and joy may be difficult to embrace when living with dementia.

Regardless of your background, the month of December has environmental demands that rivals all other months. You remember family gatherings and moments of serenity that may feel unattainable due to the demands of caregiving. The idea of trying to integrate them with your daily caregiving tasks may feel overwhelming.

Allow Arden Courts to help with respite. Google defines respite as a short period of rest or relief from something difficult. Arden Courts’ respite program allows you the time to regroup, return to a family gathering, and restore moments of serenity. Respite is not a permanent placement but it does allow you and your loved one to experience life with dementia from a simpler perspective. Your loved one will have the engagement and freedom unique to Arden Courts while you recharge with assurance that Arden Courts’ wisdom in design, training and staffing will provide quality care.

It is possible that your time away will give you an unimaginable boost. Research verifies that placing a loved one with dementia gives the caregiver an improved sense of mastery, better physical health, decreased depression and activity restriction. Though the research time frame was one year, anecdotally caregivers using short respite report similar results.

In Arden Courts’ experience, some respite stays become permanent stays.

For example: A husband who had been experiencing caregiver overload for months chose Arden Courts respite for a week away with his adult children. When he returned from his trip he saw his wife socializing, engaging in activities, and happy. “I couldn’t take that from her. She was not happy at home. I decided to continue her stay with Arden Courts for a trial period which is now permanent. It was the best decision I have made in years.”

Google’s definition of respite as a verb sheds light on this decision: suspending decision, judgment, for a time.

Perhaps you are unable to make a permanent placement decision right now. An Arden Courts respite suspends that decision for a time. Respite is a short-term strategy which may become a long-term solution. What is most evident in our continuously high customer satisfaction ratings is Arden Courts’ longevity and wisdom makes our community the premier choice in memory care.

Let Arden Courts offer you the gift of respite. It may be the best gift you have received in years. Find a location near you


By-line: Cate McCarty, PhD, ADC has been collaborating with Arden Courts in a variety of roles since the late 90’s. Her background in nursing, activities and admissions has given her a passionate commitment to quality of life for the individual and family with dementia.

Gräsel, E. (2002). When home care ends--changes in the physical health of informal caregivers caring for dementia patients: a longitudinal study, Journal of the American Geriatric Society, 50(5): 843-849.
Infurna, F.J., Gerstorf, D., Zarit, S.H. (2013). Substantial changes in mastery perceptions of dementia caregivers with the placement of a care recipient, Journal of Gerontology B for Psychological and Social Sciences, 68(2): 202-214.

Zeisel J, Silverstein NM, Hyde J, Levkoff S, Lawton MP, Holmes W. Environmental correlates to behavioral health outcomes in Alzheimer's special care units. Gerontologist. 2003 Oct;43(5):697-711.

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