If you’re being looked after at home by loved ones, or if you receive live-in care from a trusted professional, there will come times when the subject of ‘respite care’ is raised. This could be because your usual caregiver isn’t able to care for you for a short time, or because they have to go into hospital themselves or have planned to go away or take a break. Both professional carers and family carers need to take a break sometimes.
Caring for someone around the clock can be very emotionally and physically demanding. So it’s important your carer takes a break. And when they do, you need to arrange respite care. However, there’s no one-model to respite care and what option you choose is up to you.
If you’re currently living in your own home or with relatives and the subject of arranging respite care is raised, this could mean either home-based respite care or care home cover. The care home respite option means moving into a care or nursing home on a temporary basis. Whilst you’ll be looked after while your loved ones are away, care homes are notoriously expensive.
Alternatively, you may choose to arrange live-in respite care. In this situation, you’ll need to find a carer who can move into your home temporarily. They will stay with you around the clock and sleep in your home. This allows them to be there for any emergencies. It also means they can take care of you and carry out all the tasks your family or partner usually does.
Most care recipients have very good experiences with live in respite care. Whether it’s a few days or a few weeks, it can be nice to have a new person around, somewhat like a houseguest. But the great benefit is, they’re trained carers. They already understand your needs and know how to help you. If respite care is needed more frequently, say one day a week or a couple of weeks every now and again, you can see the same person again. This is also a great benefit. Your primary carer has the chance to take a break from work and refresh themselves and you get to see a familiar face.
While the thought of meeting someone new can be daunting, especially if you’re living with Alzheimer’s, there’s nothing to worry about. A respite carer selected through a specialist such as Guardian Carers is specially trained and highly experienced.
But most importantly, using respite care helps your regular carer care for you better. Caring for another person is a very demanding role and sometimes handing over these responsibilities is essential. This way, when they come home, they feel recharged and refreshed and ready to hear about what has happened while they were away.