What is respite care and how can you find it?


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Respite care is care provided for a set amount of time, while the usual care giver takes time to rest from their regular care duties.


As your loved one ages, it’s likely they will experience health problems that will make it more difficult to care for themselves. These health problems can range from dementia (affecting 20% of those aged 80 and over), to accidents, to long-standing illnesses (affecting 66% of those aged 75 and over).

As a result, seniors often need home care to help them to continue living independently. In fact, 1 in 10 people in the UK are carers. With the number of elderly people needing care and the number of carers rising in the UK, support is crucial to allow these caregivers to continue doing their job safely and happily.

What is respite care?

Care homes are falling out of fashion. Increasing numbers of people are opting for home care, and the number of home carers is steadily rising. Currently, there are about 7 million carers in the UK, a figure set to increase by 60% within the next 30 years. Of this, an estimated 5.4 million are unpaid carers – friends or relatives who provide care for their loved one. Caregiving can be massively rewarding, but it’s also a demanding task that can leave carers burned-out and drained of energy. Many carers work 50 hours or more a week, in a full-on, intense environment. Unpaid and paid carers alike need a support system in place that allows them to take breaks and holidays, without leaving their charge uncared for. In most other jobs, sickness or holiday cover is a simple thing – but for carers the responsibility is huge. Carers need to be able to take time off – even if only to attend appointments, fitness classes, and social events – but to do that, they need to know there is appropriate cover care in place. That’s where respite care comes in. Respite care is temporary care that provides cover for a usual home carer. It offers carers a critical opportunity to rest and recuperate from the business of caring, so that they can continue to deliver a high-level of service.

How can you find respite care?

Finding respite care can be easier said than done. One option is a care home. Most care homes include respite care as an option, and will accept clients on a short-term basis to provide holiday cover etc. Everyone is different, while some will find the change of scenery and new social circle stimulating, it can be expensive and very unsettling. Some elderly people suffer as a result of the change, both in carer and familiar environment. Alternatively, many care agencies will offer respite care. This can be a reasonable short-term option, although bear in mind that there are many disadvantages to care agencies. Unless you’re already on their books as a client, they can make you jump through a lot of hoops before allowing you to hire a respite carer. The alternative is a platform like HomeTouch. We get a lot of short-term requests from carers who are going on holiday, and relatives who simply need a break. In fact, many of the carers in our community specialise in offering respite care, and are available at very short notice. If you’re looking for respite care, you often need someone immediately. Holidays can be planned in advance, but sickness cover is a different matter. In that instance, time really is of the essence – and being able to quickly and efficiently choose a carer is critical. HomeTouch offers you complete flexibility over the carer you choose. By giving you comprehensive carer profiles, and by ensuring that every carer is fully vetted and approved, you have the security of knowing you can find high-quality care, quickly.

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Screen Shot 2016 10 20 at 09.05.28 What is respite care and how can you find it?, HomeTouch Blog