During spring and summer family caregivers often hope to take a vacation to enjoy spending time with their own children. Knowing what to do for a loved one with a disability or an older parent they provide care for while they are gone is a common concern.

How can caregivers take a vacation without putting a loved one at risk?

There are several respite options to consider. Some providers will bring services to your loved one while others will welcome them for a short stay at their community.

1. If you have another family member who is available to care for your loved one in the evenings and on weekends, you could consider an adult day program during the daytime. These services are often operated by area non-profit organizations like The Alzheimer’s Association or a local church. Transportation to and from the center is often available for an additional fee.

2. Some home care agencies have the ability to offer up to 24 hours of daily care. Their caregivers would stay with your loved one in their home while you are away. The more hours that you require, the more important it is to book ahead so the agency has time to arrange for the necessary coverage.

3. Your local independent or assisted living community likely offers respite stays. Depending upon the laws in your state, a loved one may be able to move to the community for up to one month. They are able to enjoy the same amenities and activities as a permanent resident of the community. Because senior living providers often hope to turn these short-term guests in to permanent residents, costs are generally quite reasonable.

If you think you might be interested in exploring respite care for your loved one, The National Respite Network has a comprehensive guide that might be of interest. The ABCs of Respite for Family Caregivers can be downloaded at no cost.