Aged care at home – A message to the carer

Aged care at home, where the life-long partner is placed in the position of being the main carer, is becoming an increasing scenario as Australia’s population ages.

The task of the home based carer is often relentless and stressful. In many situations the carer, particularly when supporting their spouse, is operating alone, with little or no support from other family members.

According to the ABS (2009) survey, in Victoria alone, 22% of carers spend 40 plus hours per week caring for a loved one for a continuous period ranging between 5 – 9 years.

In many situations, notably when the care recipient is a partner with dementia, the carer’s focus of attention is on their loved one.

Caring for a loved one takes energy. Where the carer is stressed or feeling unwell themselves, energy levels drop; tempers can become frayed, and the situation deteriorates to the point where the level of care provided is not able to be kept up to the standards that the carer would prefer.

A professional agency who provides respite care as part of their aged care services will understand the frustration that comes with providing dedicated care to a partner. Respite care enables you carer to make time for you – the carer – to take a break from the demanding role of being the full-time carer.

Respite care can be as simple as taking an hour out of the home to chat with some friends over a coffee down at your local café. It may be that you take a holiday. Whatever you as a carer choose to do in the period of respite, the important thing is quite simply – make it about you. This is time that you focus on you for a change and re-energise your spirits.

In home respite care allows you to take a break knowing your loved one will be cared for by a qualified worker at home.

Respite care should be meaningful and enjoyable with a focus on social interaction and familiar activities that will keep your loved one entertained while you take a break.

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