What is Respite Care?

Respite Care is a short term package of care, typically ranging from 1-6 weeks.

The objective of respite care is to provide relief for people who are full-time Carers. There are a range of scenarios where full-time Carers may require respite, for example:

  • Planned breaks/holidays: Rest & time away is essential for maintaining good health & well-being
  • Personal healthcare needs: Carers do get sick & may not always be able to fulfill their care commitments

What are the benefits of Respite Care?

Respite care not only provides rest and relief for full-time Carers but also the person being cared for. A couple of week’s change of scenery can be good for both parties!

Respite stays offer a good introduction to full-time care and just over 30% of people on respite stays go on to become a full-time resident within the service.

The person being cared for gets to experience everything that life within a residential/nursing home has to offer, including:

  • Socialising with other residents
  • Access to a full & varied activities programme
  • Healthy & nutritious meals
  • 24-hour care & support

3 Steps to arranging Respite Care:

Step 1: Shortlist potential homes for respite

Not only do you need to find out whether the home has availability to support, you also need to find out whether the care needs of your loved one can be supported.

Typically a Residential Care Home can support people who need assistance with personal care and have mild/moderate mobility problems.

Nursing Homes can support people with complex care needs including those who are immobile, require intravenous medication, wound dressing and have swallowing problems. A Registered Nurse is on-site 24-hours a day.

Not all Residential Care Homes & Nursing Homes support people with dementia. If you are looking for dementia care you will need to confirm with the home whether they provide this type of care. Depending on dementia care needs, these are the questions to ask:

  • Do you provide residential dementia care?

Suitable for people with mild/moderate dementia care needs, predominantly short term memory loss.

  • Do you provide dementia EMI care?

Suitable for people with advanced dementia and subsequent behavioural challenges. Behaviour such as wandering & verbal/physical aggression are typically supported within a secure EMI unit.

  • Do you provide dementia nursing care?

Some nursing home’s will only take people with dementia if their nursing needs outweigh their dementia needs. An example of this is when somebody has dementia but is bed bound.

Step 2: Find out the individual home's process for booking respite care

Most Care Homes & Nursing Homes advise people to get in touch 2 to 3 weeks before respite is required to find out if they have availability to support.

Providing they have availability & you confirm you would like to go ahead with the service, a pre-admission assessment can be arranged. A pre-admission assessment is where the Home Manager or Clinical Lead goes out to meet the person requiring care.

The purpose of the assessment is to allow the Care Home/Nursing Home representative to fully ascertain the individual’s care needs. Providing the home deem they can support the care needs, they will then use their assessment findings to write a personalised Care Plan for the individual requiring care ahead of their respite admission.

Step 3: Admission

Ahead of admission liaise with the Care/Nursing home regarding admission time. The home will try to be flexible around admission timing but it is normally best to avoid daily medication rounds & meal-times as these are extremely busy times at home.

The only things you need to take with you are clothes & toiletries. To save clothes getting lost in the wash it is advisable to sew in ‘name tags’ or write initials on labels using a permanent marker.

If you require any specialist equipment e.g. pressure mattress, the home will liaise with you regarding arrangements.

For free, help & advice finding respite care near you, call today.

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