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Respite care: All your questions answered

You might have heard about respite care, but do you really understand what it is? Here at Westgate, we’ve seen an increased demand for our short-term respite care services and can see first hand just how important these little breaks are, both for the caregiver and the person being cared for. Find out more about respite care here or talk to our team for more information.

What is respite care?

Respite care is designed to provide a temporary break for the primary caregiver, by placing the cared for person in a care home or other facility for a short-term period. This type of care is particularly useful when friends or family have taken on the responsibilities of care, as it gives them a little time to take care of their own health and wellbeing too.

Why is respite care important?

For the caregiver, respite care can be crucial, to allow them to rest, recuperate and deal with other family commitments. Caring for someone else is an exhausting job, and if you’re nearing the end of your energy reserves, you aren’t going to be able to continue providing good care for your loved one.

There can also be reasons for needing respite care from the point of view of the cared for person too. They might need short term specialist care following an operation or illness, which can be given in a nicer way in a care home than resorting to a hospital admission. They might like to see what a care home is like; a sort of try-before-you-buy, to see if it suits them. Or they may simply desire a holiday away from home but with care built into the trip.

What types of respite care are there?

When people talk about respite care, they are usually referring to the cared for person going into a care home for a short period. However, there are other ways to arrange respite care, such as:

  • Home care: Getting carers to attend to the person at home whole the caregiver takes a break
  • Intermediate care: Provided by the NHS, this is usually only available following a hospital admission and for up to six weeks
  • Friends and family: Other family members could take over for a short while
  • Respite holidays: Specialist organisations provide respite h9lidays for elderly or higher needs individuals. They can travel alone, or the caregiver can go along too.

Respite care can often be arranged to suit you, whatever the needs of the cared for person are. It is crucial to admit when you need to take a break, as your loved one will suffer if you completely burn out.

What are the pros and cons of respite care?

On the positive side, respite care provides the caregiver with a much-needed break from their responsibilities. The person being cared for also gets a break, with a change of scenery, change of faces and all the support they need. On the downside, some people find these sorts of changes difficult to deal with, particularly those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

How can I pay for respite care?

There are sometimes funds available to cover the cost of respite care, depending on your own situation and what support you get right now. Your local authority should contribute to the cost of respite care if you have had the right assessments and are eligible for funding. You can, of course, pay for respite care yourself, or there may be charity funding available to you to help with the cost of this care. For more information on funding options, talk to one of our team.

Respite care at Westgate

Here at Westgate, we’ve seen first hand just how important respite care can be. It’s all too easy for a carer to become burnt out, giving 24-hour care and attention to a loved one, and sometimes a short break is just what they need to recharge their batteries.

For the person coming into our home, they usually have a great time here too. Residents on short breaks get to make new friends, enjoy new activities and have a little holiday of their own too. Why not find out more about respite care and how it could work for you? Contact our friendly team today and we’ll be happy to discuss things with you.

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