Why getting Respite Care is the trick to being a good family caregiver

Why getting respite care is the trick to being a good family caregiver

For the first time, the world’s population of over 65s outnumbers the young. According to research carried out by Home Instead, the UK’s dependence on loved ones to care for its ageing population is unsustainable.

We found some striking statistics, including the fact that 65% of family carers struggle with their mental health. The expectation of family carers is clearly an issue, with millions of people out there overwhelmed by their daily struggle, juggling everything they are doing including family, work and finding time for themselves.

As a family caregiver, it’s important to take some time for yourself every now and then in order to recharge and to carry out your care tasks in the best possible way. Taking a break from your care responsibilities will enable you to keep providing the support your loved one needs, while also looking after your own health.

At Home Instead we understand that it’s important you take a break from time to time, which is where our respite care at home service can help.

Home Instead’s respite care provides support for older people and their carers. It’s estimated there are a staggering 6.5 million people in the UK who are caring for loved ones, with 1.4 million of those giving over 50 hours of care per week.

A respite carer is a trained professional the same as other carers, but they can work on a temporary basis and will be skilled in quickly picking up necessary arrangements and providing care to someone new.

They may help with daily activities like getting somebody washed and dressed, making food for them, providing activities or opportunities to socialise, administering medications (if appropriate), and offering companionship while the person’s usual carer is away. They may also understand the need to provide compassionate emotional support while the regular carer is away and reassure them that everything is in hand.

Planning respite care well in advance will ensure that you give yourself enough time to arrange the care properly, reassuring you that all of your loved one’s needs are met.

Ahead of arranging care, it’s important to discuss respite care with all parties involved. Talk openly about respite care with your loved one and consider the needs of everyone to ensure you get the best outcomes of respite.

Consider whether your loved one needs help with mobility, transportation, eating, medications, and even things like mental stimulation. It’s also necessary to take into account their abilities in the context of what personal or specialist care they might need. Equally, consider your loved one’s preferences, to ensure their wishes are respected, and they receive dignified care in your absence.

Assessing your own personal needs will also help you to prepare and arrange the respite care requirements that suit you best. Ask yourself how long you need respite for, and how often you may want it. Recognising your own feelings and discussing family involvement can make your role as a caregiver more balanced, whether or not you are in a period of respite.

At Home Instead, we understand that it may be a difficult decision to start receiving respite care, but you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. Ahead of putting a care plan in place we will carry out a care consultation to assess the needs of your loved one, so that we can be sure we are providing the correct level of service.

Based on the information shared during the care consultation about the interests, hobbies and personality of your loved one, we will select a carefully matched Care Professional to provide their support. Your Care Professional will be a friendly face that both you and your loved one will get to know well and trust, ensuring you feel confident in the respite care provided, allowing you the break you deserve and need.

More information on respite care can be found here, including the different types of respite care and how it is funded. Alternatively, call 03308 224418 to speak to a member of the Home Instead team.