There are over 7 million people providing care to family members in the UK right now, and 3 in 5 people will identify as carers at some point in their life.
Many people providing care do so full time, and they often also have additional family members to care for, and education or a job that they commit to as well. So, this can cause huge emotional and physical demands for one person.
If you already feel stressed by your job or your family life, it can be hard to comprehend how one person could take on more responsibility. And most people who are in the position of caring for an elderly family member, likely didn’t know how much of a challenge it would be before they started caring for their loved one. It is both stressful and challenging and carer burnout is very common because there are emotional, financial and practical challenges caring for the elderly.
Carer burnout occurs when a person is completely mentally and physically exhausted from their caring role. The best thing that a carer can do to avoid burnout is to put coping strategies in place and one of those strategies is using respite care.
What Is Respite Care?
Caring for anyone can be exhausting, especially when they are entirely your responsibility. You may be responsible for washing, dressing, and preparing meals for your loved one; doing shopping or supporting medical appointments. You may be in charge of their medicine, in charge of keeping them safe. You may be confined to the house to ensure their safety.
Respite enables you the chance to have a much-needed break from your carer role. It is simply where a qualified carer comes to your home when you need them to, to care for your loved one. So for any time from a few hours to days or weeks you can run errands, visit friends or family members, or simply go on a much needed holiday. You can find a qualified care in your area via our list of live-in care providers.
How Do I Source Respite Care?
The first thing you need to do is consider how much care you need. Have a think about how much respite you would like to arrange, and look at how much budget you have to pay for the respite, if you are not entitled to it through your local authority or the NHS.
What To Ask The Live-in Care Agencies
You will need to ask plenty of questions so you are confident your loved one will get the care they need when you are not there. Consider asking the following questions to the agencies you approach:
- What are the services you provide?
- Do you have insurance?
- How much training do carers have?
- How quickly can you provide respite care?
- Can you give me a transparent overview of costs?
- Do you arrange an initial meeting so my family member can meet their carer?
- Do you manage all the care?
- Are you regulated by the care quality commission?
- Do you provide a managed service?
The more you ask, the more informed you will be when it comes to making a decision about choosing the best option for both you and your loved one.
Finding Respite Care Is An Important Coping Strategy
Burnout is so common amongst family caregivers, so it is extremely important you use coping strategies in order to avoid burnout yourself. You won’t be able to care for your loved one or yourself very well if you are exhausted physically and mentally. With the right respite carer in place, you can get a much-deserved break from your role as a family caregiver knowing your loved one is in safe hands until you return.