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How to choose a respite care provider?

If you have been looking after a family member and need a break or have to be away for a period of time, it can be hard to decide whom to entrust with the care of your loved one. There are many options for respite care available, but you need to ensure that you have chosen the right person to provide the correct level of support in your absence. Some basic research can help alleviate this worry and ensure that your family member is looked after by a carer who is experienced and able to easily cope with the demands placed on them by the invalid.

Choosing a Carer to Suit Your Loved One

Before looking for respite care help, it is important that you determine what level of care is required by your loved one. Evaluate their health, level of independence, medical needs and other factors that will influence the type of care required and then perhaps plan a visit with a few suitable candidates to choose a good match. If the person requiring care is relatively mentally alert, it is always a good idea to introduce them to the potential care giver and ascertain if they are compatible.

A respite care provider may be trained in basic medical care, but depending on the level of care required you may need to consider offering additional training to meet specific needs. Comfort is a top priority for the person requiring care, and if a carer is not equipped to deal with medical conditions it could cause distress. The experience level and training of carers are important and you should be allowed to question qualifications, skills and experience before hiring. If you are hiring a carer through an agency or are making use of a residential care facility, carers will have been screened using internal processes and vetted thoroughly before they are allowed to offer their services. If you are hiring independently find out what requirements a carer needs to fill in order to be eligible for employment.

Choosing Agency or Individual Carers

Both individuals and agencies that offer respite care help have their benefits and it is often down to personal choice as to what will suit the primary care giver. Care providers are often left alone with patients in a home environment. Although they may not be constantly monitored, you can choose to request a supervisory visit via an agency, or you can use a nanny cam to check on the level of care being administered. Respite care offered by retirement homes is also an option and carers are then monitored by matrons or other more senior members of staff. A respite care provider should have an emergency plan in the event of any incident occurring, regardless of the location, and it is important to enforce a set programme for emergencies.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates all care providers in England and both the NHS and private nursing facilities can assist with respite care. Certain facilities are limited to varying hours of service and some programmes include meals, transportation and even social activities, depending on the patient. Programmes should be chosen according to the abilities and capacity of the person requiring care and the costs will vary depending on the level of care required and the type of programme utilised.

Respite care givers can offer relief in looking after a loved one and are well regulated within the UK.
Caregivers can choose between placing their loved one in a residential home or have a respite carer come to their own residence to provide the necessary assistance.

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