The Importance of Respite Care

We've partnered with home care experts Helping Hands explain the benefits of respite care and what factors to consider when looking for the right solution for your situation

What Is Respite Care?

Respite care is short-term care that is typically used following an illness or injury - perhaps as transitional support from hospital to home - or, most commonly, when the usual caregiver takes a short break.

There are two main types of respite care in the UK: residential respite and home respite. 

Residential respite is provided on a temporary basis in a residential care or nursing home, where the individual moves into the setting in which they're receiving their support. There are also day care services available to allow carers a short break away from their routine for a couple of hours, whilst their loved one continues to receive the support they need.

It may be that your loved one would feel safer and more comfortable in their own surroundings, and so a visiting or live-in respite carer would be the most suitable option. Home respite is where the temporary carer comes to the individual's home on a visiting or live-in basis, offering support in the individual's own surroundings for as little or as long as they need.

Finding the right respite care is completely dependent on you and your individual requirements. Everybody is different; you may be delivering eight hours of care a week, or you might be living with your loved one providing round-the-clock support. Finding the right respite support for you and your loved one is about establishing what's most important to you and using that as your starting point.

What Is the Importance of Respite Care for Caregivers?

Caring for a loved one is not only physically demanding, but the emotional impact can take its toll, too.

If you're caring for a loved one, it's important to take some time for yourself to rest, recuperate and recharge your batteries. Once you've taken the time you need, you can return to caring for your loved one feeling rested and refreshed, enjoying quality time together as a family.

It's not uncommon to experience feelings of guilt when taking a break from caring for your loved one; you may feel like you should be solely responsible for their needs, but everybody needs a little time to themselves. 

By taking a break, whether it's a couple of days or a few weeks, you'll reduce the strain on your health and wellbeing, and come back feeling happy, fresh, revitalised and ready to provide care again.