Being a carer for a loved one can be extremely demanding, stressful and appear never-ending. Respite care provides carers with a short-term break from their caring role. Whether you need one-off assistance or require regular relief breaks, respite care can offer an abundance of benefits to both the carer and the person being cared for.

Here are 10 reasons as a carer you should consider in-home respite care

#1 For short-term absence

Respite care can be offered from a few hours per week to enable the primary carer to take short breaks to go shopping, attend their own medical appointments, go out for lunch or coffee or simply catch up on other personal errands or tasks.

#2 To strengthen your ability as a carer

Time away from your role as a carer can significantly improve your caring abilities. Respite care can also provide an opportunity to meet with other carers via local carer groups, or enable you to educate yourself about caring techniques and develop your own professional care skills, while your loved one is in safe hands. Through education and sharing your experiences with other carers, you may discover new strategies or ideas to ease your caring role.

#3 When returning home from the hospital or recovering from illness

Seniors often require a little extra assistance following an illness or hospital stay. Respite care can provide short-term help around the home, including cleaning, meal preparation and also assisting your loved one with personal care (e.g. showering or toileting).

#4 To provide relief to the regular carer

Taking a break from your caring role is important for you to retain good mental and physical health, especially when caring for another person full time. Respite care can alleviate the demands of the caring role by ensuring you take regular time out to relax, rejuvenate and come back to ready to give your all.

#5 For extra help around the home

Caring for a senior loved one can easily become a full-time job. When things become overwhelming, having an extra pair of capable hands to assist from time to time can make all the difference and helps to avoid carer burnout.

#6 When the primary carer is on vacation

Don’t remember the last time you took a holiday? Carers are often faced with complex and demanding situations, and planning and taking holidays can often be forgotten. To enable you to be an effective carer it is important to take extended breaks throughout the year away from your caring duties to de-stress, recoup and ‘recharge your batteries’.

#7 To gain a fresh perspective

Respite care offers full-time carers SO much more than just time to relax. Distancing yourself from any job for a short time enables you to come back with a new perspective a clearer mindset, and a fresh pair of eyes to your daily care role.

#8 To enjoy the companionship of someone new

Lack of companionship can have detrimental health effects on any person. Respite care also offers isolated individuals the opportunity to socialise with someone different. Whilst you are taking a break, respite care enables your loved one to build a relationship and engage in conversations and activities with someone new. They too will benefit from their respite experience.

#9 In emergency situations

When the unexpected happens and you require emergency support or find you require a medical procedure, short-term respite care offers an immediate and reliable care solution ensuring your loved one is being cared for and is in safe hands.

#10 For a change

Repeating the same monotonous routine day in, day out, can be less than fulfilling. A respite professional CAREGiver can provide exciting opportunities for your loved one to do something different, take part in new activities and help to improve their sense of purpose in a safe and secure environment.

For further information about respite services and carers support, contact Home Instead or Carers Australia