Written By Eve Becker
A respite is a short period of rest and relief, and respite care at The Selfhelp Home can provide just that — short-term relief and care in various forms.
Respite care, or a temporary stay, can help in a range of situations. It can be a stopgap measure when a patient is discharged from the hospital or rehab but isn’t ready to go home. Or it can provide care for an individual when their caregiver needs a break.
When Chicagoan Donald Durchslag came to the rehab unit of The Selfhelp Home, he was having difficulty walking, as well as trouble with his lungs.
After one month of therapy at Selfhelp, he had regained his ability to walk. Not quite ready to go home, he transitioned to respite care where he enjoyed a furnished apartment, group activities, and Selfhelp’s warm and welcoming environment.
“In rehab, they gave me a lot of intensive occupational and physical therapy, and I did very well. By the time I moved into the respite part of the home, I was able to walk again,” Durchslag says. “The people and the staff are very nice, and they try to accommodate you any way that they can.”
His rehab and respite stays were such a success that Durchslag is now moving permanently to a one-bedroom apartment at The Selfhelp Home.
“I never thought I would be staying on, but as I stayed in the respite part of the home, I saw how well it was working and how it was helping me, and I just stayed here,” he says. “It’s a wonderful experience. I’ve made so many friends here, and the staff is great too. For me, the whole thing came together, and I feel it’s the best place for me now.”
“Respite packages are designed to be a temporary solution that meets an individual’s needs with just the right amount of support”, says Efrat Dallal, Selfhelp chief marketing officer.
“We are seeing the need more and more for our respite services,” Dallal says. “We’ve had residents staying here after their short-term rehab Medicare coverage ended and taking a furnished apartment to help them transition to return home.”
“When somebody is doing a short-term rehab stay, recovering after a hospital visit, a fall, or a planned surgery and they are not ready to return home, they can continue to stay at Selfhelp in either an apartment with assisted living services or in our skilled nursing unit if they require more care,” she says.
Indeed, a short-term respite stay can help in a multitude of ways.
“It gives you the taste of what community life is like, if you want to know if it’s for you. Some decide to stay — like Donald Durchslag — and others need it for a temporary time,” Dallal says. “Whatever level of care people need, we have it here.”
Skilled Nursing Respite Care
Often, Medicare coverage for skilled nursing ends, but individuals are not quite ready to go home. Respite care gives them the professional care they need on a temporary basis.
With skilled nursing respite care, individuals can continue their short-term therapy sessions for up to 21 days in Selfhelp’s state-of-the-art therapy gym.
Selfhelp’s respite program is a great opportunity for people to continue short-term therapy after they have been discharged from Selfhelp or from other skilled nursing facilities. “When they’re not quite ready to go home. It’s a great option to get the care they need,” Dallal says.
Respite care is charged on a flat daily rate and is paid with private pay or through other insurance benefits.
Independent and Assisted Living Respite Care
Other times, people may no longer need therapy, but they still need an environment that is safe for them and is a bridge before they return home.
With assisted living services, individuals can get assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing/showering, transferring out of a bed or chair, incontinence care, and medication management.
“It’s assistance at whatever level you need, with all the amenities of living in a community,” Dallal says.
Chicagoan Rochelle Herbst came to The Selfhelp Home’s skilled nursing unit directly from a stay in the hospital, where she was treated for heart failure and hypotension. After her stay in Selfhelp’s skilled nursing rehab unit, she decided to stay a little longer in a furnished respite apartment.
Herbst credits the care she received at Selfhelp —from rehab to respite — as essential for getting her back on her feet. “Staff here is responsible for my wonderful recovery. The people here are just marvelous,” Herbst says.
The furnished apartment, three home-cooked meals a day, and range of enrichments helped her. “I owe my recovery to the wonderful staff who took care of me, and the chicken soup that I had with so many of my meals,” she says.
Giving Caregivers a Break
Respite stays are also an option if an individual is living at home with a family caregiver, but the caregiver needs to go out of town or needs a break.
“In this case, a respite stay functions almost like a hotel stay with help”, Dallal says. “The individual can stay in a furnished apartment with meals and amenities at Selfhelp on a short-term basis, while their caregiver can be assured their loved one is receiving support and needed assistance.”
For many older adults, making the move to an independent or assisted living community is a huge step, accompanied by much uncertainty. It’s hard to imagine what living in a community will be like.
Respite care offers a chance for people to try out community living in a furnished apartment with amenities such as kosher meals, housekeeping, laundry service, cardio and strength equipment, exercise classes, a rooftop deck, and Friday night Shabbat services.
After enjoying the amenities of community living in respite care, some people decide to move to The Selfhelp Home on a full-time basis.
Durchslag is happy about his move to Selfhelp. One example of Selfhelp’s warm care shines in his mind.
“They put a paper on my door when I came here two or three months ago and it said, ‘Welcome home Donald,” he says, beaming. “I have it with me still. I’m going to keep it as long as I’m around this Earth, because nobody’s ever said that to me in that particular way. I put it in the important part of my desk, and I’m going to look at it every so often and see how much they’ve helped me here at Selfhelp.”