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Published on October 20, 2023

Respite Care – Why Recuperation Doesn’t Stop At The Hospital Door

Respite Care is mainly used as an in-between step between hospital and home, especially for those who live alone. For people who may not need to go into a care home but might need some additional help for a period of time, respite care can be a great choice as it allows you to keep your independence while getting the assistance you need. It can also be used if your primary at-home carer needs to take some time off, if unwell or cannot fulfill their duties for any other reason.

This type of care can take many different forms, from care at home to residential respite care, depending on your needs. The Government offers support for you to access respite care, generally preceded by an assessment. Whether you’re searching for respite care or one of the neighboring states, there are some fantastic facilities and options for those who need to utilize this service. However, to ensure that you get the appropriate care for your specific requirements, it’s important to take some time to understand respite care, and how it can benefit you or your loved ones.

Why Do You Need Respite Care After Being In Hospital?

After spending time in the hospital for a broken bone, a hip replacement, surgery, an illness or any other reason, you might not be quite back to top form. For a number of weeks after being discharged, you may have restricted movement and find it difficult to complete particular tasks by yourself. If you don’t have family or friends available to take care of you full time, which can often be the case, you will need someone else to step in. Respite care does just this; filling in the gap from when you leave the hospital until you are fully recovered and back on your feet again.

Who Provides Respite Care?

Friends or family can provide respite care but this can be overwhelming both physically and emotionally and can lead to financial hardship if the caregiver is required to take time off work. The other way forward is by taking the professional route. You could be visited at home for a few hours each day to help with daily activities such as shopping, grooming, bathing, and cleaning. The caregiver will learn family routines and where medicines are stored, while the care receiver will be in the comfort of his or her own home. The respite support system at home provides care and supervision to protect the care receiver’s safety while also providing company, and it gives family members a break from these responsibilities.

In addition, there are different respite out-of-home services which may suit the care receiver better. For example, you can drop off the person in need of care at a community access respite care center where they can stay for a few hours. Overnight care can also be arranged in different places, such as a respite house or at the home of a family willing to do this.

Another great option, especially if you don’t have family or friends to help care for you, is to spend some time in residential respite care. Many of these facilities are based in retirement homes so you also get added benefits to help you recover. Enjoy a drink in the on-site restaurant for example. When you are feeling a little better, you may fancy a game of cards or bowls. There is sometimes a swimming pool, gym, and spa at these facilities as well.

How Does It Work?

When older people are in need of respite care, it is provided by the Commonwealth Support System, which offers a range of options for the over 65s. Some of the respite services are free while others aren’t. Depending on your financial situation, the type of care required, and the length of time you need care for, you may be asked to pay some of the costs.

What Is The Best Route To Take?

It is difficult to decide how to handle an elderly family member coming out of the hospital, but there are plenty of options available to make the process much easier. If the care receiver isn’t completely incapacitated, care at home is probably the best way forward, combining family care with professional help. However, if the care receiver has had a serious operation, which has put him or her out of action, residential respite care is often the best route. Whichever option you choose, knowing that your family member is getting the care and support they need gives you great peace of mind.


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