Respite Care | Tips for Carers
Choosing respite care requires lots of consideration. Making sure that the person receiving the care and the carer are happy with the decision and the arrangements makes a big difference to the overall experience. Here are some vital respite care tips to think about.
Assess Your Needs
It’s not easy making a decision about respite care unless you completely know what you want or need from the arrangement. Organise a local authority needs assessment to help with this.
Take Your Time
Even if sourcing respite care is a pressing concern, try to take as much time as possible to research your options. The more you look into what is available, including whether you may be eligible to receive any funding, the more likely you’ll make a decision that’s the right one.
When pondering how to choose respite care, include everyone involved in the decision-making process and talk openly about the arrangement. Allow everyone to express their feelings. The person receiving the care, as well as the carer and other close family members, should all be in unison.
Visit in Person
Reading a brochure for a respite home or centre is a good start when making respite care considerations, but don’t base your decisions on this alone. It’s always a good idea to visit the place with the person needing the care, so you can have a look around and talk directly to staff. What kind of impressions do you get from the staff and the centre? Your gut instincts are often a good judgement.
Speak to Others
Recommendations from others can be an invaluable way to receive good first-hand respite care advice, so speak to people who already make use of this arrangement. It’s worthwhile taking their comments on board, but bear in mind that what works well for one person may not necessarily work well for others, so always put your own priorities first.
Read the Small Print
Before coming to a final decision, read the small print carefully regarding the terms and conditions of the contractual arrangement. This should clearly state everything you need to know, but if you have any concerns or queries, raise these before you sign on the dotted line.
A change of environment or circumstances can be unsettling for someone receiving care, so allow for a period of slow adjustment to the new situation if possible. Perhaps respite care could be arranged initially for a short period of time, such as a few hours, gradually building up to a day, a weekend or longer? This allows everyone to get used to the situation with confidence.
Don’t Give Up
Even with meticulous research and unified decision-making, the respite care arrangement might not always work out as you’d hoped or intended. When things don’t go to plan, try not to get disheartened. Learn from the experience, work out what went wrong, and assess how you can change things next time. Don’t give up: keep on searching until you find an arrangement that works for everyone.