Respite Care

 Due to the baby boom that took place post-World War II, as well as advances in science and medicine, over 17 percent of the world's population is classified as a senior citizen. A senior citizen is classified as one who is over the age of 65. 

 These adult children, who are often raising children themselves in addition to raising a family, often feel as if they are burning out. They are tired, and they are cranky, and they are not getting the rest they need to keep up with the care they are responsible for. That's where respite care comes in.

Respite care services give family caregivers a much-needed rest and break. Respite can take place in-home or out-of-home. The length of time respite lasts depends on the needs of each individual family and the resources that are available. 

So, what is respite care? It is a way of providing "breathing room" to all members of a family who have a senior loved one residing in their home. Respite gives family caregivers the break needed, while ensuring the loved one is receiving the care and attention he or she needs.
Respite care provides the following relief:
Relaxation- Families are able to relax, rest and revive. Once their energy and purpose are renewed, they are able to better care for their loved ones.
Stability- Respite enables family caregivers to better handle moments of stress and crisis by ensuring they are well-rested and are not burnt-out.
Family Preservation- Respite means the family is more likely to stay together. When regular breaks are given to a caregiver, tensions and stress are less likely to disturb the family unit.
Respite care service can be provided by different community organizations, residential care facilities or other agencies. This service can vary from a few hours of the day to several weeks at a time. Different types of out-of-home services include:
Adult Day Care Centres- Adult day care centres offer safe environments for seniors. Generally, they accept seniors with all types of disabilities, including those who are incontinent and those who suffer from Alzheimer's. Trained medical staff take care of loved ones and lead them in activities that may include exercise or art and music. Often, transportation as well as senior meals are provided.
Senior Centres- Senior centres also provide respite relief, although families should check with their local senior centre to find if there are any requirements of the centre, such as requiring visitors be ambulatory. These centres provide music and art classes, as well as providing socialization opportunities.
Specialized Respite- Specialized respite employs the use of local facilities where the senior may go and stay for a few days or weeks. These types of services are best suited for those who need emergency or round-the-clock care.

In-home respite care is popular for a variety of reasons. The biggest reason this in-home care is chosen is because the senior in question suffers from an impairment that would make it difficult to get him or her to an out-of-home facility. In-home care providers are able to provide:

Senior companion services - that include watching television, playing games, talking and listening, along with supervision.

Personal care services- such as bathing, showering, hair styling, shaving and getting dressed. In-home care may also provide aid with cooking and cleaning.
Skilled care services - such as those provided by a home health aide. These may include administering medications and injections as well as tending to wounds. 

When searching for care providers in Swindon for example, it is important that family caregivers and home caregivers carefully research and interview all suitable care homes in the area. For professional providers who work as home health aides or work in out-of-home settings, the following is required:

i) A completed application to provide respite care
ii) Fingerprint records that are updated every two years
iii) Criminal background checks
iv) Sex offender background checks

Some may even be required to register for a license depending on the laws of the state
If the family knows of a friend or neighbour who has experience in the field of home health care, they may want to consider asking them for help. Those involved in a local church congregation may also seek out members of the congregation for help in choosing or finding a provider.
While this sounds complicated, keep in mind, families only want the most qualified applicant taking care of their loved ones. Only then will they truly be able to rest and relax.
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