Care Options - Respite Care
If you or your carer feels in need of a break, respite care can be a good option. Respite care is a temporary stay in a care home for you or you and your carer, or the temporary employment of a professional carer to come into your home. Respite care can provide extra levels of care while you recover from an illness or a stay in hospital and can also be a an opportunity to get to know a particular care home, if you are thinking of moving into one in the future.
Who arranges the respite care?
Initially, you will need to contact your local social services department and ask for a care assessment. If the assessment indicates that respite care would be appropriate for you, it is the responsibility of your care manager to arrange it for you. You may also be eligible for funding by social services, depending on your financial situation. If you want to go ahead with some respite care, but would rather organise it yourself, you will still receive funding by social services in the form of direct payments, if you are eligible.
Carers are entitled to an assessment for their own health and well being needs. This may include help with short-term care for the person they look after.
Respite Care in your own home - Respite Home Care
A care provider can be employed on a temporary basis to come to your home and take over the duties normally provided by your own carer. This means that you can continue your own routine in your own home, but it is advisable to make a detailed list of exactly what the duties are which will need to be provided by the paid carer. It may be that full time care is required, but equally you can consider day-sitting, night-sitting or time in a day care centre. Social Services will be able to advise you on what services are available and how to access them.
If you are going to employ a carer privately, you should make sure that they are from an agency or a registered body. View our section on Home Care for details of employing a home care worker.
Respite in a care home or residential home
It is not always easy to arrange temporary care as there has to be a place free in the care home. However many care homes keep rooms just for short-term care.
You should make sure the care home has the facilities and staff with relevant experience to provide the support for your particular needs. It is a good idea to make a short list, then visit the care homes first so you can see the facilities for yourself and judge the “feel” of the place.
If you are a carer and the person you look after is nervous about “being put in a care home”, make it clear that this is not a permanent arrangement and perhaps explain it as a holiday for them rather than a break for you.
If you need extra care, you can ask your Social Services to assess you for respite care with nursing. Again, if you are finding your own care home, be sure to find one that can provide this extra level of nursing care.
There are many voluntary organisations and charities as well as private holiday companies that can offer specialised short breaks for you and your carer, if you wish. You and your carer for may be able to receive vouchers from your local council for short-term breaks. This gives you the freedom to choose where and when to have a break. These schemes aren't available everywhere so check with your local social services.
Written for yourcarehome - author: Mark Sadler
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