What is Respite Care and why is it important
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- What is Respite Care
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What is Respite Care and why is it important?
Respite care is designed to replace the care that you provide, so that you can take some time out from the enormous commitment and demands of care-giving. This can allow you the time and space to look after your own health and well-being, work uninterrupted, socialize or take a holiday.
Many carers feel guilty if they spend time away from their caring duties. But time apart from your loved one can improve your emotional, psychological and physical health. You are only human, stress and fatigue can make even the most loving carer irritable and short tempered at times. After a break, you will probably find that you return to caring refreshed, with increased patience and tolerance and that the relationship with your loved one grows stronger as a result.
What kind of care?
The right respite care will vary depending on your preferences as a carer and the care needs of your loved one. Some carers prefer regular short breaks to enjoy a hobby or see friends; others need a longer period away to enable them to fully switch off. The options may include:
- Family and friends: by working together you can spread the burden of care. Ask friends or family to sit with your loved one regularly to give you time to yourself and allow them valuable time together.
- Short-term residential care: your loved one stays in a care home or other residential facility for a short period of time. This can be useful for holidays, weekends away or if you just need a break.
- In-home carers: caregivers can be employed to come into the home and help with household chores or support with self-care and feeding. Alternatively, they can just provide a friendly face and safe support so that you have the freedom to do what you want, whether it’s exercising, resting or partying.
- Overnight home care: carers can supervise your loved one at night, this is especially useful in dementia when their sleep cycle may be disturbed, allowing you to get the sleep you need to stay healthy and able to continue caring.
- Day care: adult day centres can provide regular respite. They provide a safe, supportive environment and allow your loved one to take part in activities and hobbies, or just encourages them to socialize and eat with new friends. Regular respite can help maintain your health and emotional well-being, so that everything is less likely to get on top of you and reach crisis point.
- Holiday care: this can mean taking a break away from your loved one, or taking a holiday together, there are lots of options available. See our guide for more information.
When you have been completely committed to caring, it can be difficult to step back and entrust their care to others. But by focusing on your own needs as well as theirs, you can ensure that you have the strength and resilience to continue to care to the very best of your abilities.
Find out more about the range of respite care services that we offer throughout London.