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What is Respite Care and how can it benefit me?

Respite care is a short-term stay in a care home that can be both planned ahead of time and used in emergencies. This often lasts between one and two weeks, but the period will vary depending on the individual and their caregiver's needs.

Respite care can offer a much-needed break for carers, allowing them time to look after themselves. This is particularly common when friends or family members are acting as a carer, but can also be provided when carers can't provide support for a given time. For example, after an operation when the person they care for requires increased assistance.

This guide is designed to highlight how respite care can also be a positive experience from the perspective of the person being cared for, in addition to the carer.

A chance to socialise

One of the most beneficial aspects of taking a respite care break is the increased social interaction. After spending the majority of time with their carer, a short respite break is a good opportunity to speak to new people. Respite care breaks are often best enjoyed on a regular basis (for example, every few months) which offers the opportunity to become more familiar with a certain care home and forge friendships with its residents.

New experiences

Much like the opportunity to enjoy new social relationships, a respite care break can also offer the visitor the chance to take part in different leisure activities. Barchester’s homes offer varied group and individual activities which are designed to mentally and physically stimulate residents. This in turn aims to enhance their well-being and feelings of self-worth. Our varied activities can range from art and crafts, gardening, trips and visits to baking, or even work with local schools.

A change of scenery

A simple change of scenery can be extremely stimulating for those who are used to being looked after in the same environment. Barchester accommodation is designed to make you feel at home both inside and out. Our homes are decorated to feel comfortable, not institutional, and we strive to create wonderful gardens for leisure activities and dining. Together, this ensures a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Looking after carers

The well-being of carers is just as vital as that of the person they are caring for. If a carer is stressed and worn-out, the chances are this will unwillingly impact the quality of care they can offer. Respite care ensures caregivers are able to return to their duties with renewed energy, helping to maintain a strong relationship between them and the person they're caring for.

Preparing for full-time residential care

Frequent respite care breaks can prepare a person to better transition to full-time life in a residential care home. Short respite breaks allow a person to become accustomed to the way care is arranged in a residential home and acts as a trial-run when choosing a home in which to take up permanent residence.

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