Caring for the Carers
Whilst our care is always centred on the individual most in need of it, we know and understand the importance of caring for the carer. Looking after husbands, wives and partners during our normal care activities is something we instil into all our care team. Whether it is making a cup of tea or simply helping to get the house straight, those little actions or brief break can help home-based carers get through the day. But longer term, respite care is a must for both the carer and the cared for. Sometimes we all need a break.
Respite Care – A little time off duty
We know from experience that requesting and accepting care can be a difficult decision to make and so many battle on, not realising that the job of carer can often get a little harder each day. So sometimes it is about securing care for the carer, not necessarily those that are managing illness, injury or infirmity. Respite care buys that all-important time, from a few hours a week to a couple of days or nights, ‘off duty’, allowing someone else to take the strain for a brief period.
Recharge and maintain independence with respite care
Respite care can help the primary carer recharge and maintain their own independence and identity, but it can also come as a huge benefit to the individual being cared for. Whether they need to see a different face or, as it often the case, they feel guilty on behalf of a loved one or partner having to deliver the care, the change of scene, different voice or different perspective provides a welcome break. We’ve even had a situation whereby one of our care workers, a former baker, awoke a love of baking in a client whilst delivering respite care and spent the respite time with them creating cakes and loaves for their loved ones to enjoy. As a non-verbal communicator, this shared time not only gave her carer a break but a tasty treat or two to come back to!
Case Study: Mr Davis
Mr Davis, like most, takes his wedding vows incredibly seriously and when he signed up for in sickness and in health, he meant it. Mr Davis has been the main carer for his wife for several years as her condition has gradually deteriorated. However, with the right support he can keep going and Mrs Davis has been able to stay at home, something they were both adamant should happen. But despite retiring almost two decades ago, Mr Davis finds himself in a full-time role as primary carer and even though he is in good health himself, he knows he can only continue to support his wife if he too has some support. That is where we help.
For 3 hours each week, our care team visits the Davis’ and take over the primary carer role so that Mr Davis can have a break. Mr Davis is a keen bowls player and will often use his break to go and roll-a-jack or two or even just sit and read, safe in the knowledge that Mrs Davis is being cared for. When the weather permits, our trained care workers often take Mrs Davis out in her wheelchair, either for a walk or to enjoy their beautiful garden.