Respite care is care provided in a Care Home or similar organization for a short period of time on a temporary basis to someone who needs 24/7 care.
This may be for rehabilitation purposes, or to allow the resident to get a feel of living in a care home or for a personal carer to take a short break from the daily demands of caring for a loved one and to rest and regain the strength and energy to resume caring for the loved one on their return back home. Respite care provides a safe, comfortable and enjoyable space where the person being cared for can stay while the carer gets some time to themselves.
Many voluntary carers, of which there are seven million and rising in the UK, view sending their loved one to a respite home for short-term care to be somehow ‘giving in’.
This is an understandable response from a situation that is by nature clouded with emotion. Family members who are living with the affected loved one often find it difficult to see the bigger picture, as they are getting through each day one at a time, or to think of themselves at all because they feel guilty for doing so. It is tempting to ‘power through’ fatigue and stress in this situation.
However, a carer’s health, both physical and mental, is not a selfish need, nor something which can be put off forever. In fact, as a carer, staying in the best health possible is vital to prolong the amount of time that your loved one can stay in their current arrangement where you can care for them personally, and respite care is therefore beneficial for both the physical and mental health of carer.
Carers.org carried out a survey which revealed the following:
Carers who provided care for more than 50 hours a week had double the rate of ill-health compared to non-carers and had nearly 25% more risk of having a stroke and becoming incapacitated themselves.
36% of carers who had not been able to take a break from their responsibilities reported problems with their mental health, while this risk was found to decrease by more than half to just 17% in carers who had been able to take a break of more than a few hours.
As you can see, the stress of being a full-time carer, compounded by the lack of sleep and possible back problems, is likely to have adverse effects on your physical and/or mental health, and these effects can be mitigated by a period of respite care for your loved one and a break for you to recuperate.
At Paxton Hall, we offer respite care in our warm and friendly residential home near Huntingdon from one week to several weeks in duration, on an emergency or a planned basis. Here your loved one will receive the same high-quality personal care that all our other residents enjoy, with freshly prepared tasty food, optional group activities and the care of experienced and compassionate staff.
Please get in touch if you believe this service could be of use to you. We would be delighted to answer any of your questions, and you are very welcome at Paxton Hall for a visit to see if it is the perfect fit for you and your loved one.