|Respite - having a break from
"The few hours off make
all the difference"
after someone can be very demanding. At times you will need a break, not
only from daily chores, but also from the person you are caring for. This
is called respite care.
often feel guilty about having a break. However, this will help to reduce
stress levels and maintain physical and emotional health. It will also
improve the caring relationship by introducing variety and stimulation,
and ensure neither carer or cared for become socially isolated.
care may range from someone occasionally sitting with the person cared
for, to their regular attendance at a day centre or club, to their going
into a nursing home for a short stay.
and family are usually happy to help, provided that they do not feel
unreasonable demands are placed on them. They may be able to spend a few
hours regularly with the person cared for, or have them to stay for a
weekend now and then. Help with household chores, such as ironing,
laundry, or hoovering, or help with shopping or collecting prescriptions
may reduce the burden on carers indirectly.
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centres provide a safe environment away from home for a few hours.
Transport and lunch are usually supplied and other services such as
hairdressing, chiropody and bathing are sometimes available. Some
centres may not be able to manage more dependent people.
some areas, the local day hospital may be able to provide patients
with regular rehabilitation sessions and address any medical and
nursing needs, whilst also providing respite for the carer.
services or voluntary helpers may provide general care and supervision
for a few hours, or overnight. Some organisations may be able to
arrange outings, or other activities depending on the needs of the
person you are looking after.
that cater specifically for the needs of dependant people can be
arranged, either for the person alone, or for you both together.
Information about locally available respite
care services can be obtained through
the social services department (or sometimes through the family
doctor or hospital service when the patient’s medical problems are more
severe). Cost and availability vary from area to area.
Carers UK publishes a booklet on
‘Taking a Break’ and can contacted on 0808 808 7777 (
The Parkinson’s Disease Society (tel
020 7931 8080) can provide
information about holidays for people with PD. (
The Crossroads Association (tel:
0845 450 0350;
provides practical support to give carers time to themselves.
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