Factors to consider when opting for respite care

Anyone who has been a caregiver to a family member or friend at home knows that it is not the easiest task; external help is required due to any number of reasons. Life-work balance is the most affected by this and, at times, one needs a break from it all, temporarily of course. This is where respite care comes in. Below is some information that will help you make the right decision when it comes to respite care for your loved ones.

What is respite care—Respite care refers to the assistance provided to the elderly, ill and disabled by caregivers outside the hospital walls. They carry out this task either at the home of the patient or at facilities designed to allow provision of such care. Nursing homes are an example of facilities which offer such care and, although they sound expensive and not the most ideal to take a loved one, they are very professional and come highly recommended.

Choosing a carer—The first step before choosing between a facility and in-home option is choosing a carer. It is important to take into consideration the level of care required by your loved one first. Assess their health, needs (medical or otherwise) and level of dependency to know what type of care is required. Introducing candidates to the person requiring care might help with the selection process as you can ascertain compatibility.

Consulting with the loved one on what they need and discussing options is always encouraged as it helps give them peace of mind. At times, specific needs of the patient have to be met and this makes choosing a caregiver who can be trained beyond the basics is important. This is because the top priority in respite care is comfort.

Choosing a facility—Choosing a facility where your loved one's interests and hobbies are matched is essential in this process. This should be done after finding out about the costs involved. Centres usually have surplus charges for things such as food, insurance and extracurricular activities, and these costs can be substantial if not budgeted for. There are funds put in place by local authorities to aid in financing respite care. Check with your local authority to find out more about this.

Carrying out background checks on facilities and visiting them physically to assess them before making a decision is important too. For more information on care centres, gather more insight from a regulatory body here.

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