22 February 2011
Respite Care Options Hit By Cuts
Local news today tells of a husband who provides round-the-clock care for his disabled wife who has been told their respite funding has been halved.
His wife spends four weeks of the year at a specialist care centre for people with multiple sclerosis, her stay there costs £1,000 a week and has previously been funded by the county council. The rest of the time her husband is her full-time carer, except for four hours a week when a carer arrives to allow him time away from the house.
However, the couple have now been told that their funding will be reduced to £513 a week, leaving them to make up the £2,000 difference.
This example of informal care and many others like it save the UK an estimated £87 billion a year by caring for their loved ones at home.
Yet funding cuts and respite care centre closures are common threads on newsfeeds.
So who cares for the carers ?
This much needed respite in question is twofold, it allows the main carer to take a break and gives the customer a break too.
But with the regular closure of respite residential accommodation is their really an alternative that can work at home ?
We have always offered live-in as a short term Respite Care option, helping carers to take a break or providing cover in case of illness or emergency. Often cheaper than residential respite ( certainly in the case quoted above) we are able to respond quickly and efficiently to emergencies or work to regular planned respite several times a year.
Take out the disruption of having places allocated on availability and cost, this allows the person to remain in the comfort and familiarity of home and the live in carer to maintain their preferred routines and lifestyle. Often we will work with a family for a few days before their break commences to ease the transition from carer to carer and give some important peace of mind whilst they are away.
Letting go of formal care responsibilities for a loved one is never easy, no matter how long or short your break . But there are options that can work with you and for you – you just need to know where to look.