Health & Fitness

What is Respite Care? How It Helps Family Carers

Information about respite care and how it helps family carers with getting a well-earned break, creating a better long-term prospect for wellbeing.

6,000 people take on the responsibility of being a family caregiver every day in the UK. That amounts to 2 million people every single year who are finding themselves caring for a relative or loved one.

Being a family caregiver can be really challenging, especially when you have other responsibilities like a business, children or employment.

Lots of coping strategies can help ensure that a person who is caring for their loved one does not encounter carer burnout. Carer burnout happens when a person is so mentally and physically exhausted they are unable to provide adequate care to their loved one, and in some instances they struggle to be able to take care of themselves when this happens too. Although this kind of burnout is usually temporary, it is best prevented wherever possible. Coping strategies for family carers help to ensure it doesn’t happen, and respite is a really important coping strategy to consider if you are a family caregiver according to care experts at the Live In Care Hub.

What Is Respite Care?

Respite care is a short period of time (anything from a few hours, to a couple of weeks usually) where a person in need of care is cared for either in a care home, or in their own home by a live-in carer. It can be provided as planned care, or because of an emergency.

Usually it is to ensure that the family caregiver gets the time to take a break from their day to day role as a carer. It is important for the carers wellbeing, enabling them to have time to themselves, to run errands, see friends, or simply take some time out to recuperate.

The Benefits Of Respite Care

There are many benefits of respite care that a carer is able to benefit from. From the perspective of the person receiving care, they get completely looked after, remain safe, and as independent as possible, all with the help of a trained professional carer. The carer benefits by being able to:

  • Speak to new people, or to catch-up with friends and family
  • Enjoy new and fulfilling experiences such as enjoying hobbies, sports, shopping or travel
  • Getting a change of scenery
  • Getting restored energy
  • Being able to feel more on top of other responsibilities and errands

Mostly the carer can completely let go and relax knowing their loved one is in capable hands.

When Is Respite Care Useful?

Sometimes respite care is beneficial once a month so that the carer gets a break from their caring duties. Sometimes it can be useful for preparing for residential care, or as an intermediary before a long-term live-in carer is sourced. It may also be beneficial for situations where a medical condition requires a person has recovery support, such as after a stroke.

Sourcing Respite Care

If you are interested in arranging respite care it might be a good start to look at the NHS page on carers breaks and respite care. You may also wish to speak to your GP or social worker about arranging respite care, and also seeing if you have any entitlement to financial help or free help. Sourcing a live-in carer may also be a great idea if you know you need to look into full-time care in the future. With respite care, you could maintain your health and wellbeing as a family caregiver, enabling you to provide the best possible care to yourself and your loved one.



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