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 that ranges between 5 – 9 years.
Sometimes carers need support themselves to keep going. If you are currently caring for a loved one at home, you may need a break for a few hours or a few days, or you may need help for a short period if you are ill or recovering from an illness yourself where 24 hour care may be required. Respite care offers an opportunity for you, the carer, to take a break while the person you care for remains at home with a qualified worker to assume the caring role on your behalf.
In home respite care allows you to take a break while your loved one will be cared for by a qualified worker at home.
When considering respite care, it is important that a detailed care plan is developed with you and your loved one to ensure the individual needs and interests of your loved one are met. Respite care should be meaningful and enjoyable with a focus on social interaction and familiar activities.
Therefore, it is important when planning respite care for your loved one to provide a detailed profile of their history to gain an understanding of the person’s interests, life experiences, work history, family situation and hobbies. A comprehensive profile will ensure respite is enjoyable, safe, and familiar.
Typical respite care activities could include looking through a photo album, cooking, painting, or playing cards. If your loved one is immobile and unable to interact, an old film, music or a hand massage may be appreciated. Where more active support is needed, perhaps a walk, outing, or game of golf would be in order?
By involving meaningful activities in respite care, your loved one is encouraged to participate in activities of their choice, while you are free and empowered to enjoy your respite period as well.
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