Caring for someone living with dementia is one of the most valuable unpaid jobs you can do. It can also be a tiring, stressful and overwhelming task, especially towards the end stage of the disease. If you don’t regularly take time out from your caring responsibilities, you may develop burnout: a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion.
The importance of taking a break
If you care for a loved one with dementia, it’s okay to take a break now and then. In fact, this is an essential part of being a good carer, as you can’t support someone else if your own cup isn’t full.
This is where respite care can help. Respite care is when someone else takes care of the person you support temporarily, so that you can have a break. It can be for a couple of hours, a whole day, overnight or a week. In Australia, there are a few different types of respite care available:
- in-home respite care– someone comes to your loved one’s home to provide care for a limited amount of time
- community respite care– the person goes on a supervised outing or takes part in a group activity as part of a social experience.
- Centre-based respite care– this takes place at a centre, and offers opportunities to socialise and take part in activities in a safe environment
- Residential respite care – a short stay in an aged care home
Letting someone else take on your caring responsibilities has plenty of benefits for you and your loved one. For you as the carer, it gives you a chance to rest and recharge; do an activity you enjoy; go on holidays; do paid work; stay on top of medical appointments or visit other people. It ultimately makes you a better carer, as it allows you to take care of your own health and emotional needs.
For the person being cared for, respite care also has plenty of benefits. It can give them an opportunity to interact with someone different. Depending on the type of respite care you receive, it can also allow them to try new things, or enjoy a fun day out doing a favourite activity.
HomeCaring’s respite care services
It’s a good idea to plan regular respite breaks throughout the year, so you can stay on top of your own wellbeing. HomeCaring offers high quality respite services from dementia care specialists, designed to give you a break from your caring responsibilities.
For aged care clients, we offer in-home and community respite care. For NDIS participants, we offer in-home, community and centre based respite care.
All of our staff are highly experienced in dementia care, fully trained and rigorously screened, so you can rest assured that your loved one is in the safest of hands. On top of giving you a well-deserved break, our goal is to give the person being cared for a good experience. We do all we can to ensure they are valued, respected and treated as an individual. We also make the effort to understand their personal needs, so we can tailor our care accordingly.
Our care is also flexible. We understand that the need for respite can come at any time – whether it’s a medical emergency, family function or a need for a mental health break. Our understanding team can adjust to your schedule, so you receive the help that you need.
Is respite care funded by the government?
In Australia, respite care is currently funded by the Australian government, following an assessment by an Aged Care Assessment Team. If you have younger onset dementia, you can receive funding from the NDIS.
Sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start, or what you are eligible for. As a registered provider, HomeCaring can help you navigate the system and access the funding you need. This means that rather than coping on your own, you can start to build a support network that allows you to take breaks from caring when you need to.
For more information on our respite services or to speak to someone about your unique situation, please get in touch for a free consultation.