Respite care is short term care of a sick, elderly, or disabled person, providing relief for their usual carer. I don’t have personal experience of respite care but a friend of mine, who knows a lot about it first hand, had this to say.
“This relief is SO important. I thought that I could do all the caring myself, as well as working part-time and looking after a family. A stroke after 2 years brought me up with a jolt!”
She went on. ” Respite care is provided in many care homes, run by both social services and privately. Some people are eligible for financial help. Stays can be for a few days or a week. Local authorities run classes on a daily basis, providing respite for 2 or 3 hours. Stroke support groups are beneficial for some people giving them an opportunity to share their experiences with others and offering a few hours respite to carers”.
“ You’ll find that time apart gives both parties time to ‘breathe’ and ‘be their own person’ ”, she said. “A huge hurdle for the care-giver is the feeling of guilt, or being seen as unable to cope, but once the initial decision has been made that begins to fade. We're not saints!”
And finally her advice was.” Once the decision has been made and an establishment chosen it is important that an initial visit is made, with everyone present., and any possible problems discussed. Everyone's needs are different and the respite care-givers need to made aware of this”.