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What is Respite Care?

There are many different types of live-in care, and there are many different reasons why you may need a live-in carer. One specific type of care that The Live in Care Company can assist with is respite care.

For those who may be unfamiliar with what this is, and what it involves, we’ve created this guide to respite care. This guide should answer any questions you may have regarding respite care, so you can make the right decision for you or your loved one going forward.

This guide will cover:

What is respite care? How does respite care work? How do you qualify for respite care? Finding the right respite carer What does a respite carer do? How to get respite care What is the cost of respite care? What are the benefits of respite care?

What is respite care?

Respite care is either the provision of a temporary carer/carers when the usual carer is unavailable or going into a residential care home for a limited time. Understandably, everybody including carers needs to take a break once in a while and it may be that a family member, who is the usual carer, needs time to catch up on daily life, relax or go on holiday.

Sometimes it might even be that an emergency arises, and a respite carer is required to step in to take over with providing support. A respite carer can also help prevent the usual carer from becoming exhausted or burning out.

After a period of rest, the usual carer can return to their caring duties feeling refreshed and ready to reengage with their caring responsibilities. Therefore, respite care can also benefit the person being cared for. Respite care maintains the caring relationship, and can also provide variation to a routine and increase social stimulation, things that are often welcomed.

How does respite care work?

Respite care may need to last a few days or several weeks, depending on the situation and individual needs. Emergencies may also require a respite carer at short notice. It can also be an opportunity to try out home care for a short period of time to see if it works for you, and the individual being cared for.

The prospect of leaving your loved one in the care of another can be daunting. A respite carer will ensure that your loved one’s care needs are met in the absence of a usual carer. Having someone come into the home is usually less disruptive than temporarily placing a loved one in a residential care home, since routines can continue, and the environment remains familiar for the cared-for individual.

On the other hand, the person being cared for can welcome a change of environment and the chance to meet new people in a care home.

How do you qualify for respite care?

There are various ways in which one may qualify for funding of respite care. In some locations, the local council can provide the funding for respite care, but this only happens following an assessment carried out by local authorities. They may decide that you qualify for respite care following a carer’s assessment or a needs assessment, as well as a financial assessment.

Needs assessment

This is a free assessment carried out by the local council to assess the level of care and support the individual being cared for requires. It looks at assessing needs for respite care and takes into consideration the needs and views of the carer. A review assessment may be recommended if you have already had a need’s assessment in the past.

Carer’s assessment

A carer will also have a separate assessment to look at the arrangement from their perspective, and to consider needs relating to their health, work, learning, leisure and family. This assessment should also consider whether the carer is able to continue caring for the individual, and if not, then the authorities should help look at alternative methods of care.

Following an assessment, you might be able to get financial support from the council to help you take a break, but respite services are means-tested, which denotes that they are dependent on the financial circumstances of the cared for individual, so you or the person you care for may have to contribute towards the cost.

There are thresholds for assets and savings, above which you will need to pay for care. The upper limits for 2020-21 are:

In England: £23,250

In Wales: £24,000

In Northern Ireland and Scotland: there is no financial assessment for care at home as all personal care is paid for by the state.

The local authority should contribute towards having a respite carer at home if:

  • The needs assessment or carer’s assessment determines that a respite carer in the home is necessary.
  • The financial assessment determines that the cared for individual meets the criteria for support from local authority funding.

If one finds that they do not meet the criteria for funding from the local council, then the person being cared for (or their family) may have to fund their own respite carer.

Some charities will offer support with funding of respite care. The Carers Trust offers some grants to carers who need respite. The charity, Turn2us, can help to find grants for people who need respite care but can’t afford it.

Finding the right respite carer

It may be important to you and the cared-for individual that a carer has particular skills, experience  and personality, especially if they are used to having these with their usual carer. It may be helpful to think about the following things when looking at getting a respite carer:

  • The level of experience a carer has;
  • The type of experience the carer has, for instance, experience working with dementia clients;
  • The specialist training a carer has, for instance, training in using certain medical equipment or administering medication;
  • A carer who can drive;
  • A carer who is happy to look after family pets, if required;
  • A preference for a female or male carer.

What does a respite carer do?

After having received a handover from the main carer of anywhere between an hour to a day, the respite carer should be in a position to continue all of the duties that the main carer does.

How to get respite care

There are many ways of finding a respite carer but broadly speaking, you should either go to a reputable care agency or introductory service, advertise for a carer on a job site or seek a personal recommendation and you should ensure that the carer has been fully vetted.

What is the cost of respite care?

The cost for a respite carer starts around the price of £875 and £1200 per week, however, this can be dependent on the caring needs and can be double for emergency or respite care.

What are the benefits of respite care?

Arranging respite care is an extremely important part of the care process.  The benefit of respite care is that it allows a main carer to get essential rest and recuperation by taking a break or going on holiday or even to attend an important personal or medical event or even. There is also a benefit to the person being cared for who will be able to meet a new person or even new people.

How we can help

At The Live in Care Company, we can provide a Iive-in respite carer with the right skill, experience, and personality to take over the duties of your main carer.

To find out more, or to start a conversation with one of our friendly members of staff, get in touch today. You can call us on 0118 449 2373 or fill in our contact form, and we will be happy to call you back.

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