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Respite Care: Your Questions Answered

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Information and resources about respite care and how it could help you with family caregiving.

In the UK 1 in 8 people are carers and by 2037 statistics suggest no less than 9 million people will have some sort of caregiver role.

Becoming a caregiver is often unplanned and occurs when a member of the family requires some level of care to live safely and comfortably. You may have moved into your relative’s home following a medical event like a stroke to help them recover, and weeks of support turned into months, and then years. Perhaps you realised that your parent was struggling to remain safe at home, you worried about them and so it made sense to move them into your own home long-term.

Or maybe your spouse needs care and it is the most natural thing to want to provide care for your loved one.

Everybody’s caring circumstance is different, but there are many things caregivers have in common. Although providing care for a loved one is incredibly rewarding, there are also challenges associated with caring for a relative including:

  • A physical strain
  • Having to juggle family life and care-giving
  • Juggling a job and caregiving
  • Dealing with difficult emotions like anger, resentment and grief
  • Dealing with difficult behaviour from a loved one because of dementia or other conditions affecting behaviour

Being a family caregiver can be very challenging, and all too often unpaid carers can suffer from burnout. This is where a person is so exhausted physically and mentally from their role that they literally are completely unable to function. This is not a positive situation for either the carer and the person receiving care and prevention is always the best approach to avoiding caregiver burnout.

Prevention includes: seeking support from loved ones or professionals when you need it, staying healthy, staying organised and generally taking care of yourself as much as possible. More often than not, respite is a key part of avoiding caregiver burnout.

What Is Respite Care?

Respite care is where a trained carer comes to care for your loved one for a set period of time which could be anything from a few hours, or even a few weeks depending on your needs and circumstances. A trained respite carer will usually be arranged by an agency that supplies home care, domiciliary care or live-in care.

Do I Have To Pay For Respite Care?

You may qualify for respite care from the NHS. Alternatively you can arrange respite care privately through an agency.

Can You Have Respite Care on a Regular Basis?

Some family caregivers liaise with their care providers and arrange respite care once every week, or every fortnight for a few hours to give themselves time to run errands, or just spend some time with friends away from their caregiving role. Read more about finding respite care here.

What If I Need More Support Than Respite Care?

You may be interested in live-in care which is where a person lives in your home and provides care and support for their client. They can provide you with support caring for your loved one if you don’t want to give up your caregiver role completely. They can also provide all the care required if you feel it is time to employ a qualified professional to do the job.

The priority is always the person who needs the care, and live-in care can be a fantastic way for the person to remain in their own home safely and securely, with the best possible quality of life. Take a look at some of our resources such as the Better At Home Report 2019 for more information about live-in care to see if it could be a great solution for you and your loved one.

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