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What Does Respite Care Provide

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  • 16-02-2022
What Does Respite Care Provide

If you are thinking about taking a break from caring, you may ask: What does respite care provide? We look at what a respite carer does and the types of respite care available. 

What Does Respite Care Mean?

Respite care means the process of taking a break from caring, while the person you would typically care for is being looked after by someone else. Respite care gives you time to look after yourself and helps stop you from becoming overly exhausted and run down.

There are plenty of respite care options available, these choices range from getting a volunteer to sit and stay with the person you look after for just a few hours, all the way to arranging a small stay in a care home so you can go on a short holiday or break.

The person who you look after regularly could go to a daycare centre, or a paid carer can visit them at their home in order to look after them.

If you require more information then contact your local council or local carers centre and they can give you more information about support locally.

Why Respite Is Important For Carers

What does a Respite Carer Do?

Your chosen respite carer is there to proceed with all the things that you normally do.

They can reside in your home to provide 24-hour care, or simply attend on a visiting basis. Whatever it is that you need, your care plan will be tailored 100% to your specific needs.

An individual support plan is put together before any care is given, this is to ensure that the carer always meets all of the requirements necessary.

The daily tasks of the respite carer can include:

What Does Respite Care Provide?

Nursing care needs, including continence support and catheter work

Personal care, including washing, showing, toileting, and dressing

Mobility support, this can involve helping your loved one move around their home

General housekeeping such as drying and washing clothes

Arranging for trips outside of their home to see family or friends

Caring for any pets who reside within the home

Arranging and administering medication at the scheduled times

Purchasing food on a regular basis and cooking meals

Emotional support and regular companionship

Respite carers can also follow the routines that your loved one is used to. For people who are living with conditions such as dementia, this consistency of care is incredibly important, they need the regularity of routine.

Many care teams are fully trained on how to work with people who have life-altering conditions such as Alzheimer's, so they will know how to help your loved one follow a routine that they are comfortable with.

What Does Respite Care Mean?

Types of Respite Care Available

Respite care can come in various forms but really it boils down to two main ideas. Sharing the responsibility of caring, and getting support for yourself.

Respite can simply take the form of asking friends and family to watch over your loved one for you so you can take a break to visit other people, go through with other chores, or take time to engage in a hobby.

Respite care can also mean finding volunteers or paid carers to provide in-home services for your loved one, this can be either just occasionally or on a regular basis.

Respite care can also involve using out of home programs such as adult daycare centres, day camps, or nursing homes. This is done to provide you with a break and your loved ones with the continuing care that they need and deserve.

There are around six different major types of respite care, they are listed below:

Sitting services

Help from friends and family

A short stay in a care home

Homecare provided by a paid career

Daycare centres

Respite holidays

Getting Assessed for Respite Care

Caring can be incredibly tough, and plenty of cars don't like to ask for extra help. But just a little extra support can sometimes make a world of difference. If you need help from your local social services then your first step is to get assessed for respite care.

As well as assessing all the needs of the person that you care for, the local council and the social services department will give you a carer's assessment to see what exactly you might need help with for your caring role.

It's important to remember, you can get a carer's assessment whether the person that you care for is having their needs assessed or not.

The kind of help and support you can receive from the local social services can include:

Respite care to give you a break from caring

Information on local support groups

Help with general caring

Equipment that can help you with your caring role

Local social services can also supply you with a personal budget, this is an amount of money that the council will calculate in order to cover the costs identified within your carer assessment.

This money can be taken as a direct payment and used to help you maintain your interests and slide outside of your responsibilities within the caring role. For example, using the money to cover the cost of your internet connection or the cost of membership for some kind of club.

Engaging Family Members in Respite Care

A lot of carers and too worried or embarrassed to reach out to family and friends, but their assistance can be a wonderful help. They may be able to help you out while you are running some kind of errand, taking a break, or going on an extended holiday.

The process of caregiving is often far more than one person alone can handle, but it can also be a tough process for whole families to share. Even the healthiest families can go through severe stress and anxiety because of ongoing care, and the division of care is very often uneven. 

In your family, you can encourage the support and participation of care by employing the following strategies:

Keep an open dialogue

Talking opening and regularly about caring struggles. Keeping your family up to date on your loved one's needs and their condition is very important.

Family members who perhaps don't involve themselves in the day-to-day caregiving experience may not quite completely appreciate all the stresses and demands involved with the process.

Types of Respite Care Available

Sharing your needs

Encourage your family members to think about what they can reasonably and honestly engage in. Changing around roles and resource levels can impact family involvement.

Welcoming in different and new viewpoints is important. As is accepting limitations, and being willing to try alternative strategies for care. Share your list of needs with your family and try to take advantage of all their offers to assist.

Ask for support

Recognise and analyse your own feelings, and discuss disproportionate tasks. Holding onto all kinds of resentment when you actually need help can not only be disastrous to your health but can also lead to severe burnout.

If you are in need of support, ask your family members directly. Don't be vague and ask for help at specific times and dates. A useful way to organise this is by establishing an online calendar. This calendar can be used to organise relief and confirm schedules.

Getting Assessed for Respite Care

Use technology

Use modern technology to bridge the distances between you and other people. Why not give free video conferencing software a try to hold family meetings?

Do this at times which will work for everyone and soon you will have a web-based community where everyone can share updates on caring and explore options for dividing the distribution of care.

Support groups

If you haven't already then we would highly recommend getting yourself involved in support groups. 

Learning how other families cope and get through tough times can provide you with new options and ways of coping yourself.

We would also highly recommend building relationships with other trustworthy and dependable caregivers. 

This can give you an opportunity to trade respite services which can be a massive help, in particular, busy or stressful times. 

If you have siblings who are unwilling or unable to share the load of caring, then peer support is an invaluable resource.

Support groups

If you have questions about respite care, and what it provides, we hope this information has been useful to you.

We offer specialist home care services and live-in care for vulnerable adults throughout London. Get in contact today if you have a loved one that would benefit from professional care at home.