Pros and Cons of Respite
Cons around Respite I hear you ask? What could possibly be the downside to having a loved one you care for placed into care for a short period of time to give both yourself and them a break? Well before you place a loved one into Respite Care we really believe there are a few key things all families should be aware of. In this blog post we are dealing specifically with Residential Respite where your loved one spends a period of time in an Aged Care Home.
So let’s look at the positives.
Try before you buy
A short stay in Respite can give you a taste of what to expect when the time comes to transition into care. You get the chance to try out different facilities to see whether they suit you and your family, to make the choice even easier when moving permanently. Think of it as coming up with an aged care home shortlist. Most people will qualify for up to 63 days of annual government funded care and the only cost is the Basic Daily Care Fee (I would avoid dating this so that the blog stays timely for longer) plus an additional services fee to cover things such as Wi-Fi, Foxtel and a wine with dinner.
You all get a break
Even in the healthiest of relationships we all need a break from one another. Being a carer for a loved one is a 24/7 job that can also be very physically demanding, involving lifting and broken sleep night after night. In a long-term care situation, short Respite visits can make all the difference to the caregiver and the receiver. Self care is vital for care givers to prevent burn out, Respite gives them a chance to recharge and be their best for their loved ones.
Professional support 24/7
Placing a loved one in Residential Respite gives them access to a team of trained and qualified professionals around the clock. Which should provide peace of mind to loved ones while they’re apart.
A change is as good as a holiday
As loving and caring as you are, believe it or not your loved one may like to have a break from you! Interacting with new and different people can be energising and uplifting. It is great for their brain health and helps to combat feelings of loneliness that can lead to depression. Your loved one may experience new activities, or crafts that they never would have tried otherwise. Perhaps they’ll discover a new food or dish for lunch or dinner, which you can now try at home.
But there are some elements to Residential Respite you need to keep in mind.
Impact on future full time accommodation
If a loved one displays some anti-social behaviour during a Residential Respite stay in an Aged Care Home, this may impact a facility’s willingness to transition them to a permanent living arrangement. You’re basically running the risk that by using Respite a permanent placement could be jeopardised. It may be better off to place a loved one straight into permanent care to secure their place at the facility. As things currently stand, a respite resident doesn’t have a right to a permanent bed.
Allied Health Care Needs
Residential Respite clients don’t qualify for many extras during their visits. If Allied Health services such as physiotherapy, podiatry or occupational therapy are required by your loved one during their stay, they won’t be covered by the Aged Care Home and will come at an extra cost.
Easy Come Easy Go
Another area to be aware of when it comes to Residential Respite is what happens if your loved one needs to go to hospital during their stay. The Aged Care Home typically will not hold a bed for a respite client if they require a hospital stay. So if you have planned an overseas holiday, placed your loved one in care and they end up in hospital, they may lose their place at the home where they were originally settled.
Respite Care is vital and really the only way many families manage long-term care situations. But it pays to know the pros and cons so that you aren’t hit with any surprises along the way.