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What is respite care?

Respite care is separate periods of care if a senior, or their caregiver, need to have a short-term break. Respite care can be provided either in residential care homes, nursing homes or at home. Respite breaks are only short-term and usually only last for about three months of continuous care.

Who is it for?

Respite care is for elderly people and adults with mental or physical health problems, sensory or learning disabilities. People can benefit from Respite Care following a minor stroke, experiencing mild dementia, Angina, Arthritis, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, brittle bones, Heart disease, Cancer, Hip replacements. It can help the person in need of care to continue living safely while giving the caregiver peace of mind knowing the senior is in a safe and cared for environment.

Also respite care can be for the main caregiver as well, giving them the chance to have a well earned break, maybe a day away shopping or a holiday break with peace of mind their loved one is being cared for in their absence. If you are a family member caring for someone, it is important to remember that if you go too long without a proper break things can get emotionally too much, you may become ill yourself, anxious or depressed, which can make life more difficult for you and the person you are caring for.

What types of breaks are there?

If the break is required in your own home, arrangements can be made for a caregiver to come in and care for you or your loved one. This care can be for a few hours while the main caregiver is out, or for an overnight stay. Longer periods can also be provided through services such as home care, day care and Meals on Wheels. If the break is away from your home, the stay can be in a residential care facility which provides 24 hour care. This can be helpful for someone who is coming out of hospital and needs rehabilitation, if the main caregiver is away, or if emergency short-term care is needed. You may be eligible for breaks on a more regular basis, which means stays with the residential home can be booked in advance to suit your needs.

How much will it cost?

Most respite care packages are tailored to each personís needs and can vary in cost.

The above is an edited version of an article by Lighthouse Care (Sussex) Ltd in association with Drumconner Nursing Homes.