Your introduction to respite care in a nursing home

Caring for a friend or family member can be incredibly rewarding — but it can also be a labour-intensive job filled with long hours and complex emotions. And, if you’re not careful, it can quickly take its toll on your mental and physical health. 

That’s why you must take a break now and again.

Yet, for some, the idea of stepping away from their responsibilities as a carer can result in guilt and anxiety, and so they carry on until they’re burnt out. This is where “respite care” can ride to the rescue.

In this short post, we explain what respite care is, how it works and share some of the benefits of choosing respite care in a nursing home for both carer and patient. 

What is respite care?

For you, as a carer, respite care simply means taking a break from caring while your loved one is looked after by someone else. 

It allows you to take a step back and look after your own well-being. You may just need a day or two to yourself, or you may want to go on holiday to recharge your batteries. Either way, respite care steps into the breach and ensures the person you care for is well looked after. 

Meanwhile, for the patient, it can provide a new face, a change of scenery, or a slightly different routine — especially if a nursing home or care home provides the respite care. 

How does respite care work?

There are several options when it comes to respite care: 

  • You may only need a few hours to run some errands or attend an appointment, in which case you could find a volunteer (a friend or family member) to fill in for you.
  • Some paid services provide in-home respite care, allowing you to take a more extended break while your loved one receives the same level of care in the comfort of their own home.
  • Or your loved one could go and stay in a nursing home or care home for a short period, letting you take a well-earned holiday safe in the knowledge that they’re receiving expert care, 24/7.

How is respite care funded?

For paid respite care, you may need to fund this yourself, depending on your or your loved one’s situation. However, it is possible to get financial support from your local council.

If you want the council to cover respite care costs, both you and your loved one will require an assessment. You can find out more about these assessments on the NHS website:

What are the benefits of respite care in a nursing home?

Respite care in a nursing home (also known as short-term or short-stay care) is a temporary living arrangement where your loved one joins the nursing home as a resident. 

There are benefits to this arrangement for both carer and patient.

For the carer:

  • You have the peace of mind that your loved one is in a warm, secure environment surrounded by highly trained staff and fellow residents. 
  • You can truly switch off from your role as a carer, taking time to rest and recuperate if needed.
  • And if you’re able to visit your loved one in the nursing home, you can do so as a friend, sibling, partner, or child (and not as their carer). This lets you resume your original relationship and enjoy some quality time together.

For the patient:

  • They get a break, too! A different environment with new people and new activities could be just what they need. 
  • They get to trial the nursing home with a view to a longer-term stay further down the line. Using respite care as a tester for long term care can also help some individuals overcome the fears associated with nursing homes.

Read more: 5 ways to make the move from home to nursing home a smooth transition

How does respite care work in Fulford? 

Here at Fulford, we use open-ended contracts. That means if your loved one joins us for some respite care and needs to stay for longer, they can. 

Before joining us, we’ll assess your loved one’s care needs. The assessment is the same as someone moving into the home long-term, so again, if your loved one needs to extend their stay, we can do that without skipping a beat. 

Everyone who stays with us for respite care will receive personalised care tailored to their needs. They’ll enjoy their own furnished room (complete with any equipment or apparatus required), delicious meals and snacks, and they’ll be encouraged to take part in everyday nursing home activities.

Want to learn more about respite care at Fulford?  

If you’d like to chat with us about respite care, give us a call on 01904 654 269. We’re ready to listen and happy to help.

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