If you or a family member are recovering from an illness or injury, a short stay program may meet your needs for comfort and care. Providing personal attention and an array of services in a homelike environment, short stay programs offer individualized care along with meals, social activities and support within one community.

Determining whether a short stay program is appropriate for you or your family member — and choosing the right program — can be an overwhelming process. To assist you, we’ve compiled the most common questions and answers about short stay programs.

What Is a Short Stay Program? 

Short stay programs, also referred to as respite care, provide supportive services on a temporary basis. In comfortable, fully furnished residences, individuals in short stay programs enjoy around-the-clock personal assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, dining and taking medications.

In addition, short-term stay programs offer chef-prepared, home-cooked meals, as well as services like housekeeping, laundry and security. Residents may also participate in a full schedule of wellness and lifestyle activities, and they have access to amenities like comfortable common spaces, high-speed internet and cable TV.

Why Choose a Short Stay Program?

Individuals and family members have a variety of reasons for choosing short stay programs. For people recovering from a hospital stay, a spouse or relative at home may be unable to provide the follow-up care needed. In a short stay program, the individual can recuperate in pleasant, comfortable surroundings without worrying about being a burden to family members.

In some cases, a short stay program may prove ideal when a caregiver needs to be away, whether for a vacation, work requirements or personal reasons. Both family and professional caregivers need time off from time to time, and they can feel confident about putting their trust in short stay programs. With professional staff members and 24-hour security, short stay programs can provide the same, high-quality services typically provided by a full-time caregiver.

Caregivers also sometimes simply need a break from the responsibilities of providing care. Depression, fatigue or physical illness can strike when part- or full-time caregivers do not devote sufficient time to their own needs. In many cases, caregivers have other personal responsibilities, including demanding jobs and family requirements, that take significant time. When a caregiver needs time to rest and attend to personal business, a short stay program can provide a convenient, reliable option.

Some people make use of short stay programs as an introduction to supportive living environments. An individual may consider making a permanent move to a community but may want to reside temporarily in a short stay program as a test run. By experiencing the chef-prepared meals, daily activities, social opportunities and amenities of a short stay program, individuals and their family members can gauge whether a permanent move to a supportive living community may be beneficial.

When Is a Short Stay Program Necessary?

Short stay programs offer personalized care to meet a variety of individual circumstances and needs.

Reliable transitional care following an injury or illness. For individuals who are recovering from illness or injury — including a hospital stay — finding reliable, compassionate care plays a significant role in making a full recovery. Depending on your health needs or those of your family member, you may benefit from a supportive environment that offers security and 24-hour staffing by trained professionals. If you or your relative feel disoriented or suffer from memory loss, you may require even more support after an illness or hospital stay; a short stay program can provide personalized care for a variety of needs.

The opportunity to try a supportive living environment on a temporary basis. Moving to a supportive living environment is a life-changing decision, and many people welcome the chance to try out a new living arrangement before committing permanently.

In a short stay environment, you or your relative can experience the services, amenities and camaraderie that you can expect if you choose a supportive environment as your permanent living situation. From transportation to housekeeping, a full activities calendar and chef-prepared meals, the benefits offered in supportive environments can provide individuals with a low-maintenance lifestyle, along with free time to focus on favorite people and activities.

Time to assess options. If you or a relative have had a sudden change in health status or you need to alter your living situation, you may benefit from time to consider your options. A short stay program provides a comfortable, nurturing atmosphere that allows you to take a little time to assess what living arrangement will best serve the needs of you or your family member.

Relief for stressed caregivers. For individuals providing full-time or part-time care, a short stay program can serve as a welcome, brief respite.

What Services and Amenities Are Included in Short Stay Programs?

Short stay programs provide a variety of services and amenities to make life comfortable, social and entertaining for residents. For many residents, one of the most important — and enjoyable — benefits provided in a short stay program is the dining, which includes three chef-prepared meals each day.

In addition, residents benefit from services like housekeeping and linen service, along with transportation to medical appointments, local shopping trips and planned activities.

A variety of activities, social programming and educational and cultural events also are provided to meet residents’ personal preferences. Day trips and excursions, exercise classes and other wellness programming, gardening and cooking, creative arts, games, themed parties and moderator-led discussions are among the many activities. Residents have ample opportunities to socialize with others as they enjoy stimulating, fun events, activities and performances.

If you choose a short stay program that is part of a larger community, you or your relative can enjoy all the amenities the larger community has to offer. For example, you can expect to spend time in well-designed, welcoming common areas such as lobbies and sitting areas, coffee bars, sunrooms, libraries and computer centers. In addition, you can stroll through beautifully landscaped outdoor areas and enjoy indoor fitness centers and other wellness-oriented spaces. When you’re ready to relax, you can enjoy the services of an on-site beauty salon or barber shop.

Depending on the local area you choose, you and your family members can spend time exploring local attractions, including dining, shopping, museums and historic sites.

What Accommodations Are Available?

In some short stay programs, you can choose the type of residence you prefer. For example, you may select among a studio, one- or two-bedroom apartment.

Your residence may include amenities such as a fully equipped, full-size kitchen with a refrigerator, dishwasher and range. In addition, your residence may include a private balcony or patio, along with individually controlled utilities such as air conditioning and heating.

You will benefit from security features, including safety bars in your bathroom, smoke and heat detectors, and an emergency call system. With professional staff only a quick call away, you can feel confident about your safety and security at all hours.

When relatives and friends come to visit, they will find ample, conveniently located parking near your residence.

How Long Can an Individual Stay in a Short Stay Program?

The length of stay averages from a minimum of approximately seven days to a maximum of approximately 30 days. Length of stay may vary by programs and locations.

In a community that offers several levels of living, you or your family member may decide that the community meets your needs beyond the time in the short stay program. In communities like Gull Creek, residents have access to several levels of supportive services, including independent living, assisted living and memory care.

Independent living is ideal for individuals who require minimal assistance with daily activities but can benefit from the many available services and amenities. With provided services including transportation, dining and scheduled activities, residents of independent living can focus on pursuing their hobbies and spending time with friends and family members.

In assisted living, residents benefit from the same array of services and amenities — including scheduled activities, dining, transportation and housekeeping — as well as assistance with daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating.

Memory care provides specialized services for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. In a welcoming, secure neighborhood setting, residents of memory care enjoy delicious, freshly prepared meals along with personalized activities that support independence and creativity. Specially trained staff members assist with daily activities as they support residents in maintaining and enhancing their abilities.

Short Stay Program at Gull Creek

Gull Creek is conveniently located near parks, beaches, cultural opportunities, shopping and dining in historic Berlin, Maryland. With a relaxed, small-town atmosphere, Gull Creek offers residents a welcoming environment with a variety of supportive living options.

Our short stay program serves as a comprehensive solution for individuals recovering from an illness or injury, as well as caregivers who need a brief break. You or your family member can rest and relax in a fully furnished, private room complete with all the comforts of home. When you’re ready to socialize, you can enjoy a full calendar of stimulating educational and cultural events. Customize your stay for as long as you need, whether it’s a month or just a few days.

To learn more about the benefits of our short stay program, please call 410-641-3171.