Respite care should never be an after thought when considering a home care package. Regular periods of respite can be hugely beneficial for both the carer and care reciever. Apart from the benefit of a period of rest and relaxiation, a break in care duties gives you both an opportunity to socialise with people outside of your care relationship.
There are various different types of respite care services available to you, the most appropriate will depend on your loved one’s care needs and preferences.
Respite care is a temporary form of care that allows carers to take a break. By allowing someone else to take over care duties for a short period of time, whether that be a few hours or a few days, is's a great benefit to both the carer and care recipient.
Different types of short-term care are available for other reasons, such as intermediate care for those being discharged from hospital. Respite care services can be performed in a residential care home, or at home by a visiting or live-in carer.
Being a carer is a role that can be physically and mentally demanding – particularly if you’re looking after a family member or loved one. Respite care lets the regular carer recharge their batteries, safe in the knowledge that a loved one is being well cared for. It helps to prevent stress and burnout, allowing a carer to enjoy a well-earned break and return feeling refreshed and with renewed energy.
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Before you decide on any form of care package, it's always recommended that your loved one is professionally evaluated to determine the care options best suited to their requirements. While we may have an idea of what our loved ones need, our decisions will be affected by emotion. So therefore it’s important to receive a professional assessment of the type of care that would benefit them the most.
When it comes to respite care, the needs of the carer has to be evaluated to protect their mental and physical well being. Local authorities also have a duty to assess carer needs when requested. This may be in the form of a one-to-one meeting, telephone or online discussion between the carer and a trained professional, who’ll consider the impact of the caring duties on the individual and their life. They’ll also consider support options and provide their decision in writing following the assessment.
If the assessment determines that you have ‘eligible needs’, the council will be in contact with you to discuss what assistance may be available. This could be in the form of financial help or practical support.
Even if you’re not eligible for support from your local authority, getting an assessment can still be valuable as they can put you in touch with other agencies such as voluntary organisations who may be able to help.
Caring for your carer
Research within the Care industry shows that being the sole carer for a loved one, and not taking breaks away from these responsibilities can have big health implications.
More than eight in 10 carers surveyed said that caring had left them feeling isolated and lonely.
77% of carers reported having poorer mental health due to this isolation, while 67% said it had a significant impact on their physical health too.
There are many benefits to respite care for both carer and care recipient and whenever possible regular respite periods should be scheduled into your care plan. Regular breaks will help to protect mental and physical health, this in turn will lead to a better standard of care.
Understandably, until researching the cost of care, most of us wouldn't have any idea of the cost of respite care. Generally costs can range from around £700 – £1500 per week depending on the type of respite care you choose, length of respite period, your loved ones needs and location. Emergency and live-in care at home will tend to carry a premium. However, a live-in carer is a more cost-effective option than respite care in a residential home.
Respite care does not have to be full time. You may find that carers can come into the home and assist at different times to allow you to have a break during the day or the night. You could arrange for night services two or three nights a week so that you can have a good sleep, this may be enough to allow you to cope the rest of the time.
Alternatively, a carer could visit in the mornings to help with getting your loved one out of bed, washed and dressed and prepare their breakfast. This would make your caring day shorter and allow you to spend more quality time with your loved one. Someone coming to take your loved one out for a couple of hours can also give you a much-needed break.
Introduction agencies do exist within the respite care sector, these agencies have become more popular over the past five years. Introduction agencies match you with professional carers and are generaly more affordable. Leading home care introduction agencies can offer 24-hour care at home for up to 30% less than a care home.
When funding care you should consider applying for relevant benefits, checking your eligibility for NHS funding, accessing local authority funding, and considering funding care with savings or other assets.
Your loved one may be eligible for funding from their local authority. Their financial situation will be discussed alongside care needs during their care assessment.
When it comes to funding the cost of home care, just like any other industry, there are unscrupulous companies out there looking to take advantage.
Always seek professional, regulated finacial advice when looking to self fund home care.
There are multiple forms of respite care, here are just a few
Day care centres are typically used by those who just want to have the odd day off to visit their friends, socialise and run some errands. Day care centres might offer activities and personal care services such as hairdressing – so can be very beneficial to both the carer and care receiver.
Often day care centres are run by charities or local councils and aren’t always suitable for those with more complex needs such as dementia or chronic illness. You can find out more about your local day care centres from charities such as Age UK. You can also get a needs assessment to see if you qualify for funding.
Some care and nursing homes offer respite care. Although not always possible at short notice, but if you are planning ahead for a holiday you can always contact a local care home and see if they have availability for a short stay.
In the care home your loved one will receive the care they need and be able to socialise with others to give you peace of mind whilst you are away.
If you go down the route of residential respite care, it’s important to find a home that both you and your loved one are happy with. This can take time, its important to include your loved one in the decision making process and if you explain that they’ll only be in the home for a limited time, they’ll probably accept the arrangement more readily.
Be mindful of any cognitive conditions your loved one may have such as dementia, as it can cause confusion and frustration due to the change in routine and environment.
Respite holidays with care offer specialist support to your loved one, but within a holiday setting. Many providers can help with travel arrangements, and if preferred they can also provide a schedule of activities and entertainment suitable for those living with a wide range of illnesses or disabilities.
However some providers only offer respite support for a few hours during the day or night, and therefore require the primary caregiver to join their loved one on the holiday. So, while you’ll get regular opportunities to take some time to yourself, you may not get to step away from your caring responsibilities fully.
There is always the option of live-in respite care while you have a break. This would be less disruptive for your loved one and is easier to organise if the care recipient is reluctant to leave their own home. A live-in carer will also take care of some basic house and domestic tasks while you’re away.
If your loved one has more complex care needs, and requires someone to be available around the clock, live-in respite care can provide peace of mind. A live-in carer can take care of all the things you usually do, such as domestic duties, personal care and even support with medication reminders.
Looking for respite care in Bristol?
What's the cost of respite care in Bristol?
Costs for respite care in Bristol can range from £700 to £1800 per week, depending on the type of elderly care provided. The cost will vary depending on the length of care required, location and availability. Emergency and live-in care at home will usually carry a premium. However, a live-in home carer is generally a lower priced option than respite care in a residential home.
What's the benefit of 24/7 home care in Bristol?
At home respite care has many benefits – firstly, it has the least disruption in routine and allows people to stay in an environment they are comfortable in. Not only that but it's also flexible to fit around your lifestyle and your loved one’s care needs. You could arrange for a carer in Bristol to visit in the mornings to help with getting your loved one out of bed, washed, dressed and prepare their breakfast. This would make your caring day shorter and allow you to spend more quality time with your loved one.
Can you get respite dementia care in Bristol?
If your elderly relative is living in Bristol with dementia, they may be anxious and confused about having to move into a care home, even for a few days. Those living with dementia in or around the Bristol area can benefit greatly from the routine, respite care in their own home would provide.
How do I find good respite care in Bristol?
To find good respite home care in Bristol, why not try our free, unbiased, transparent care search. Click one of the 'Compare Care' buttons spread around this website.