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What is Respite Care?

Respite Care: Taking a break from caring

If you are a carer you will know that, although hugely rewarding, caring for a loved one 24 hours a day can also be stressful work. Like everyone, sometimes you both need a holiday – and that is where short term respite care can help.


What is Respite Care?

Respite care is the term used for all services designed to give carers a short-term break from caring, and it can come in many different forms.

In some instances, a paid carer might come to look after the person you care for at home – perhaps once a week as a regular break for you, or as a one-off for a week or a fortnight. They may also take your loved one out for a day trip, or to a day centre or an activity group.

It could also mean that your loved one goes to stay in a nursing home for a while.  This is, known as short-term respite care. This might be for a week, or a fortnight, allowing you to go on holiday or to take a break at home.


Why Might you Need Nursing Home Respite Care?

Caring for a loved one is a demanding role, and you shouldn’t be expected to do it all on your own. You need to prioritise your own health and wellbeing as much as you prioritise the health of your loved one.

Although you might feel guilty for seeking respite care, it is not selfish to do so. It can stop you from becoming exhausted or burnt-out and will allow you to step back from your daily care duties to recharge your batteries.

Being cared for can also be emotionally difficult.  Sometimes a change of scene, different company, and the knowledge that the person who lovingly cares for you every day is getting a rest can be a relief to the person receiving care.


What are the Benefits of Nursing Home Respite Care?

Respite care can be good for both you and your loved one.

For the Carer

As a carer, it is difficult to continue the same high level of care and support if you’re feeling overwhelmed or exhausted. You might find yourself becoming irritable or less patient than usual, and perhaps you’ll even feel less compassion towards the person you care for. Again, this is nothing to feel guilty about – it’s just another example of why it is so important to make time for yourself as a carer.

By taking a short break from caring, you can relieve stress, restore your energy, and recharge your batteries.  It gives you time to strengthen other relationships, with friends and family, that you maybe have had less time for whilst caring for your loved one. You might be able to go on holiday or spend time doing hobbies that you enjoy. If you have not been able to make time to pursue your own interests alongside caring, this time may even give you space to pick up old hobbies or start new ones. After a short break, you should feel refreshed, and better equipped to resume caring duties with a vigour that will benefit both you and your loved one.

After some time away, you might also have a refreshed outlook on caring, and may be able to look at common issues you face as a carer with a fresh pair of eyes, making caring easier, more enjoyable, or more rewarding.


For the Person Being Cared For

Short-term respite care doesn’t just benefit the carer. It can also be a great experience for the person receiving care.

At Randolph Hill, we take a person-centred approach to care. That means that we get to know all of our residents, including their likes, dislikes, interests and hobbies. Even though respite care residents may only be with us for a short period of time, we take the opportunity to get to know them, just like everyone else.  And if people return for regular respite visits, they know that they will find some familiar faces, and an environment that is a known “home from home”.

That means that we can provide care in a way that best suits each person, and also offer a full and varied schedule of activities for residents to enjoy, tailored to their individual preferences. So we’re sure to have an activity to keep body and mind stimulated. People often pick up a new hobby to take home with them at the end of their stay!

We also offer services such as hairdressing, so our short-term respite care residents can benefit from a little rest, relaxation, and pampering – just as their caring family member will be doing on their break.

Respite residents also have the opportunity to mix and socialise with their temporary neighbours in our nursing home, providing a chance to make new friends and form new relationships.

A change from the usual routine can be a welcome and beneficial experience for both carers and respite residents, so you’ll both come back from your respite break feeling refreshed and renewed.


How to Choose a Nursing Home for Respite Care

We know that when you are the primary caregiver, it can be difficult to hand over responsibility to another person, or people. If you choose a nursing home for short-stay respite care, it is important to choose one that best fits your loved one’s needs and lifestyle.

Don’t be afraid to look at a few different options, and ask to visit the nursing home ahead of booking a respite break. Take the opportunity to ask any further questions that you may have. You might want to ask things like:

  • What activities are on offer?
  • What qualifications do the care providers hold?
  • What are the meals like? Do they cater to dietary requirements?
  • Are the staff trained in caring for people with dementia?
  • How much is respite care?


How to Organise Respite Care

Here at Randolph Hill, we offer pre-bookable respite care at Ashley Court in Morningside, Kirk Lane in Livingston, Muirfield in Gullane, and Randolph Hill in Dunblane. You can book up to 6 months in advance for respite stays lasting from one week to a few weeks, depending on your needs.

To find out more, request a brochure or book a tour, just contact us today and we’ll be more than happy to help.