What is respite care and how can it benefit me?

What is respite care?

Respite care is a short-term stay, often around one to two weeks, in a care home. Respite breaks can be planned or unplanned, in cases of emergency. Often, a respite break is arranged to give a carer a holiday from their care-related duties. This is particularly common when friends or family members are acting as a carer and allows them time to look after their own health and well-being. Respite care can also be required when the normal carer cannot offer the support needed at a certain 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.

The benefits of respite care

One of the most beneficial aspects of taking a respite care break is the increased social interaction. After spending the majority of one’s time with their carer, a short respite break is a good opportunity to speak to new people. In addition, 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.

Enjoy 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 motivating and meaningful 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. 

Experience a change of scenery

Much like enjoying a whole host of interesting activities, a simple change of scenery can be extremely stimulating for those being cared for. 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.

Enjoy renewed energy

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. A respite care stay will ensure a carer returns to their caring duties with renewed energy and also helps to maintain a strong relationship between carer and the person being cared for. 

Prepare 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 can 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.