How Does respite care work? A Quick Guide

Caring For Your Loved Ones and Looking After Yourself

Looking after and caring for a member of the family that is elderly or ill can prove to be a real challenge. Often, families and individual family members feel a tremendous amount of guilt and tend to put their own lives on hold so that they can become primary carers.

If you and your family are in the situation where an elderly family member is ill or simply needs around the clock care, you may be interested in respite care. But how does respite care work?


Why Respite Care Is a Good Thing

Despite the guilt that is often a component of caring for family members, it is important that the carers themselves are mentally and physically healthy and able to do the job. There are many cases where carers experience guilt, frustration, anger and exhaustion because the demands on their time are so great and they feel as if they have no life outside of their caring role.

How does respite care work? Respite care allows carers to take a break from their primary caring duties so that they can take care of themselves and other things in their life. In fact, a carer might want to look at why respite care is beneficial:

  • Recharge: Caring for someone with health demands can take its toll mentally, physically and emotionally. Time away from the demands of a caring role allows the carer to recharge the batteries. A tired and frustrated carer is of no good to anyone, let alone themselves, and so it is very important to use a respite care service occasionally.
  • Holidays: It is important for all carers to remember that they have a life outside of their caring role. Understandably, many carers feel conflicted about taking time out for themselves, especially if they are looking after a beloved family member. By using a respite care facility temporarily, the carer can go on holidays and find time to do the things they like. Doing things like this is particularly vital if there are children involved.
  • A life outside: No matter how close the bond between the carer and the one being cared for, respite care is important so that the carer can attend to their life outside of their caring role. They may have important errands to complete, family matters to attend to, or home duties that need to be taken care of.

Using Respite Care

Despite the importance of respite care to the community, many carers do not understand how it works or why it is beneficial for them. Carers must first be assessed for their eligibility to use a respite care service. If suitable, a carer can access up to 63 days of respite care in the facility per year. In fact, if there are extenuating circumstances, an application can be made to extend the number of days in blocks of 21.

How does respite care work? Respite care allows both the carer and the person being cared for to take a break. This is of particular importance to the carer as it allows them to rest, recharge, and live a life outside of their primary caring role.

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