Caring for a loved one can be very rewarding; however it can also be exhausting. It’s important for Carers to be able to take a break from their caring role every once in a while to rest and recharge. Respite care is the term used to describe this rest break.
There are many different ways that respite care can be delivered. Finding the right sort of care for your needs is important if the experience is going to be positive for both client and carer. This article will describe the different models of respite care and the pros and cons of each for clients and carers.
Respite Care Models
Carers of the elderly, people with disability and those who are chronically ill may at some point need to access respite care. What model of care suits best will depend on the personal situation of the carer and care recipient.
Centre-based respite (overnight):
In this model of respite care the client attends a centre while the carer has a break at home. This can be for a few days or weeks.
Pros- These respite facilities’ are often highly specialised and able to meet the care requirements of people with high support needs. There is a social aspect to the care, in that often many people are attending the centre at the same time. There are often therapeutic activities which occur in this setting. For the carers, they can have a long break, not just a few hours in a day. This type of respite enables carers to do things like travel or have their own medical needs met. Often carers who require surgery themselves need to access this sort of respite.
Cons- In any group setting the care-recipient has to spend time with people whom they have not chosen to spend time with. They may not like some of the staff or other clients. Also there will be less staff to support each client as opposed to in-home support. Each time the person attends a centre like this one there is likely to be a different group of people there, which can be distressing for some. The care-recipient musty get used to staying in a room and bed that is not their own.
Centre Based respite- Day Centre
In this model of respite care the care recipient regularly attends a day centre at a fixed time and day (s) each week.
Pros- The group setting of the centre allows for a lot of social contact for the care recipient. Often at these types of centres the attendees and staff are less transient so people can get to know each other well. Often these centres focus on community access, skill development and therapeutic approaches to care which can benefit the care recipient and enhance their quality of life. The regular day and time of attendance can also allow the carer to engage in regular activities outside of caring – such as paid employment.
Cons – Again in a group setting some care recipients may not enjoy the other attendees or staff but have to see them regularly. There may also be less staff per client.
In home respite is delivered in the client’s home environment. A paid carer, or community worker, comes to the clients home while the carer has a break.
Pros- The service can be completely tailored to the needs of the client and carer. The community worker and care recipient can build a good rapport over time or the community worker can be changed. The community worker fits into the client’s daily routine so there is less disruption.
Cons – This type of respite can incur a higher cost then group based respite and this can translate into less respite time for the carer. The carer and care recipient will also have a have a stranger in their home. Depending on the country- there may be legislation around their home environment if it becomes a workplace for someone such as a community worker.
Flexible Respite Care
This type of respite is similar to in-home respite in that it is a personal respite service for one person however the main difference is that it can occur anywhere in the community. In this model of respite care the community worker may transport and support a client to participate in activities within the community – such as checking out an art gallery, or doing volunteer work. The carer is still getting a break, but the care recipient will be out of the house.
Pros- This type of respite is can be highly personalized to the care recipients requirements. The care recipient can also have more control over how their day is spent within this model. They may also be able to access their community in a more fulfilling way with this type of service.
Cons- like any individual service, the cost is likely to be higher, which again may translate into a shorter time duration. Also this type of respite depends on the care recipient’s preferences being known and prioritized for the care recipient to get the most out of this model of care.
Which is right for you?
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