Carers of Elderly People Need Respite, Too, Especially Amid the COVID-19 Crisis

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Caregivers of elderly people encountered a new set of challenged during the coronavirus pandemic. The lockdown and quarantine restrictions have made it difficult for you to access vital medical and health services. The person you’re looking after might have also grown cranky because of staying indoors and not seeing their loved ones for a long period.

The U.K. government has recently updated their coronavirus guidelines as they start easing the lockdown restrictions in the country. These changes make it easier for caregivers to find respite care.

Respite care means having someone else look after the person you care for, giving you the chance to take a break. Respite is critical to the well-being of caregivers. It prevents them from getting fatigued and losing their sense of self as they dedicate most of their days caring for someone else.

Caregivers have a number of respite care options, ranging from getting a paid carer to come to the house of the person your look after, to looking for home care services for seniors. The choice depends on how long a break you need and what kind of care the person you’re looking after needs. The first step is to get assessed.

Arranging Respite Care

In some areas, respite care is provided based on your carer’s assessment. This evaluates your physical and mental health and how well you’re coping with your role as a caregiver.

The results determine if you require assistance from the local council. If you do, they’ll write a care and support plan to establish the kind of help you need. The plan can include respite care options suitable for you.

If the assessment shows that you need respite, the local council should provide the necessary care. Sometimes, the council funds your respite care. But the person you care for should have a needs assessment for you to quality for financial support.

Once you’ve completed the assessment, choose a respite care option based on the council’s care and support plan. Below are some of the common types for respite care.

Respite Care Options

senior and caregiver

Care Homes

Some care homes provide short-term respite care. But it can be hard to find an available respite space at short notice, especially during the pandemic. Call the care home ahead for an advanced booking to make sure they can accommodate you.

You can browse the National Health Service (NHS) website to search for a care home near your area, either with or without nursing services.

Home Care from a Paid Carer

If you want a flexible arrangement, homecare services are a good respite care option. You can arrange for a paid caregiver to come to the home of the person you look after. They can come over on a regular schedule, maybe once or twice a week to give you a day off or two. Or you can arrange a week-long live-in care so you can take a holiday.

You can ask your council about homecare services in your area. The NHS website also has a list of local homecare providers and national organisations.

Other respite care options include sitting services, adult day centres, and asking your family or friends to help. However, social distancing measures might make it difficult for you to acquire these three. The smartest way to determine which respite care option is best for you is to call your local council. They’ll also help you with the necessary arrangements.

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