Talking to a friend the other day (via phone) and the topic of respite care came up. She wanted to know what it was and if it would help her with caring for her sister. It’s not a topic that is often spoken about in my house and I wondered if it was the same in others. Especially those who would benefit from it most.
Respite or respite care is basically when someone else takes care of the person you take care of. This is so that you can have a break. Whether it’s to carry out other daily activities without worry or simply to relax and de-stress. We can often forget the sometimes the carers needs taking care of too.
Respite Care Options:
There are a lot of respite care options in the UK, they range from getting a volunteer to sit with the one you care for, for a couple of hours to a short stay in a care home. Let’s dive a little deeper.
At Home Respite Care:
This is where a volunteer or possibly paid help can either occasionally as needed or on a regular basis provide respite care. At-home services can last from a couple of hours to overnight depending on the needs of the carer. These services can be arranged directly or through a caring agency.
What’s great about at-home services is that those you care for are able to stay in the comfort of their own home. There is no immediate change or upheaval to worry about for them.
- Volunteers: can be reached or available from the community, non-profit organisations, or are even faith-based.
- Paid skilled help carers: can be home care professionals that are trained and skilled to help with bathing, dressing, feeding, shopping, and meal preparation.
Out Of Home Respite Care:
There are a number of private and non-profit respite programs available depending on your location. Such programs can include:
Adult Day Care Centers: These are designed for the older adult who can no longer manage independently or are lonely and isolated. Throughout the day there are planned activities to help with mental health and wellbeing.
These are safe and supportive programs that generally operate from Monday to Friday where meals and afternoon snacks are provided.
Residential Programs: These are more for temporary care that runs longer than a day. Group homes, hospitals, nursing homes, and other specialised facilities offer planned overnight services to allow the carer 24-hour relief.
How Much Does Respite Care Cost?
According to the UK Care guys, respite care can cost between £700 – £800 per week. For some, it can cost as much as £1,500 a week for emergency respite care, live-in care, or for staying in a care home.
The good news is that there is support out there:
You can get council support for respite care once you have been assessed. There are 2 types of assessments that need to be carried out.
A social worker or an occupational therapist will be in contact with you and ask you about how you’re managing everyday tasks such as washing, cooking, and dressing. They may also ask you to describe how well the one you care for can do certain things such as making a cup of tea.
A needs assessment can be over the phone or face-to-face so you don’t need to worry about breaking COVID-19 regulations.
How to Prepare for a Needs Assessment:
Give as much detail as you can about everyday tasks the one you care for struggles with. Leave nothing out even if it’s a difficulty in turning a light switch on.
Someone from the council will ask how you are coping with caring. This will include talking about how caring affects your physical and mental health, your work, free time, and relationships.
This assessment is usually face-to-face but some councils can do it over the phone.
How to Prepare for a Carers Assessment:
You will need:
- Your NHS number if you have one
- Doctors name, address of surgery, and phone number
- Contact details of anyone who is going to be with you for the assessment
- Name, address, date of birth, and NHS number (if they have one) of the one you care for
- Your email address
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