Respite care is described as a temporary or emergency care offered to elderly, disabled or sick patients. This normally happens when the usual caregiver is unable to provide the support. Reasons why can be many but majority is the caregiver needs a break, due to an emergency or other reasons.
Regular readers and followers on my social channels know I love to travel and do it regularly. Whilst this is one of life’s true luxuries it’s not something that everyone can do. It is said traveling is a luxury I never understood it until I started traveling. Exploring the world, discovering new places, cultures and way of life has been an eye opener. Now what happens when you want to travel but are someone’s caregiver and can not take them with? As mentioned already, traveling is a luxury many can’t afford not only financially but support with other aspects of life.
Caregivers can range from a few hours a day or 24/7 service. After doing it for a while it can take a toll on someone physically and mentally. When that happens more caregivers consider many options from sharing the load with another family member or use Respite Care.
Respite Care for the Elderly
When I turned 18 years back I decided to work in a residential home looking after the elderly. Back home there is no such thing as residential homes or care homes for the elderly (only disabled). We have a different family dynamic where we lived with our extended families. When I was young I was surrounded by both sets of grandparents. We are raised to not only respect and love our grandparents but to use them as source of life lessons. Who better to teach about life than someone whose lived it. So when I moved to the UK and turned 18 I couldn’t wait to work as a carer and applied right after my 18th birthday. For me working with the elderly I knew I would be filled with tales of the older times and pick up a tip or two about life.
Working in a care or residential home for the elderly and/or disabled I came to have an appreciation for such settings. Of course there was the odd person who just wanted to stick their elderly parent in a home because they didn’t have time for them. But majority it was because care wise it’s the best situation for all. For others, who’ve chosen to look after their elderly or disabled family member respite care is a God sent. I worked in Residential Homes or Care in community and after 5 years I can say it took its toll on me. I can not even imagine for those who do it daily caring for their loved ones without a rest. Barchester Healthcare has put together a Respite care guide for those looking for respite care (temporary) or long-term plan.
Has your family ever used or considered respite care for a family member?
What was your experience?