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Last Updated on June 5, 2020
Respite care is a temporary stay in a care home, often only for around a week or two at a time. These stays can be planned, or in the case of an emergency, be sudden. A break can often be arranged to allow a caregiver to take some time away from their care duties. It enables family or friends to look after themselves and their own well-being. Respite care may also be needed when the regular carer isn’t in a position to offer the right kind of support at the required time. An example of this would be an operation when the person being cared for needs additional assistance. Here, we’ll look at how respite care can be a positive experience for both the loved one and the carer.
One big advantage of respite care is the increased level of interaction. After spending most of their time with their carer, the loved one can meet new people. Furthermore, respite breaks can be taken regularly, perhaps every few months, to offer a chance for the loved one to become more familiar with a particular care home and make regular friends.
Similar to socializing, respite care can also allow the guest to participate in meaningful and motivating leisure activities. Some care homes include varied individual and group activities designed to stimulate the residents both physically and mentally This, in turn, enhances their self-worth and well-being.
A Change of Environment
Like enjoying a host of engaging activities, a change of environment can provide stimulation to those being cared for. Respite accommodation aims not only to make their residents feel at home physically, but also emotionally. As such, the homes are designed in such a way as to make them comfortable, as opposed to institutional.
The carer’s well-being is every bit as important as that of the loved one. If the carer is tired and stressed, this will affect the quality of care being given. A respite break will allow that the carer can resume their caring duties with renewed energy, as well as ensure that the relationship between type carer and the loved one remains strong.
A Prelude to Residential Care
Regular respite care breaks can prepare someone to transition into full-time residential care. Specifically, a short respite break can allow a loved one to get used to how care is administered in a residential home and act as a trial of a home that is being considered.
Types of Respite Care
A number of different options are available when it comes to temporary care. One scenario is that family and friends provide support, or it might just be that residential care is more appropriate.
Respite care is increasingly taking place in the home. Home care could be in the form of a live-in carer who provides 24-hour support, or a mobile carer providing support as and when needed or just for a short time each week.
Respite care could also be short-term care in the event of an operation or illness. This type of care can help the loved one in their home to speed up their recovery time, as opposed to them being admitted to a hospital.
Emergency respite care can be needed should the regular carer become sick or need to attend to personal or other professional commitments. This type of respite care is often required at short notice.
What Does a Respite Carer Do?
A respite carer provides the same kind of support and care that the loved one receives in their own home. They’ll adhere to an established routine, which can be an especially important aspect of care for loved ones suffering from dementia.
A respite carer may also provide other forms of support, such as helping with personal care. These could include incontinence care and ensuring that the loved one is given the right medication when needed.
If the loved one is in good physical condition and requires assistance in order to remain at home, a respite carer will offer companionship and emotional support. They can perform such domestic tasks as cooking, cleaning, and washing, take care of pets, and even arrange trips.
For a loved one who may require respite care at some point in the future, planning ahead can make life easier for everyone concerned. Make sure that you consult with them every step of the way when it comes to their care.
Discuss with them any available options when their regular carer needs a break, and tell them what respite care means to them and what they can expect from it. By considering their special needs and their interests, making joint decisions, and providing clear expectations, you will help to ensure that everyone involved will be prepared if and when the time arrives that the loved one requires respite care.