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Respite care is secret to independence

17th August 2006

Respite care helps people stay independent for longer, Northamptonshire County Council has said.

Recent council statistics show that 95 per cent of those who attended a specialist care centre for rehabilitation after a stay in hospital or a period of illness were then able to return home.

The other five per cent moved to long-term residential or nursing care.

"One of the most consistent messages from older people is that they want to stay independent and in their own homes for as long as possible," said Rosemary Bromwich, the cabinet member for community care.

She explained that the centres are tailored to helping people relearn skills or adapt to new ways of carrying out tasks so that they can continue to do these things for themselves.

Respite care is usually recommended to elderly patients for two reasons. The first is if the older person needs a rest from looking after themselves for a while, such as if they need extra help following illness or an operation.

The second reason might be to allow the carer of an older person, often a family member, to have a break and recharge their batteries in the knowledge that their relative is being looked after.