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What is respite care & how does it work?

Find out more about Respite Care in our helpful blog that covers what respite care is, and answers some of the most frequently asked questions. 

What is respite care?

Respite care is flexible, temporary care.  It is offered by services that are designed to support primary carers by giving them a much-needed break from the demands of caring for an ageing, ill, or disabled family member.  Respite care is also a valuable option for individuals who require time to recover from a fall or illness and assists them to get back on their feet so that they can return home.  Respite care means that a carer can go on holiday, or have some time off, safe in the knowledge that their loved one is being well looked after by care professionals.

What is temporary respite care?

Temporary respite care can be anything from a few hours a week, to an extended short stay of a few weeks at a care facility.  There are different types of respite care and they can range from friends and family helping out to give the primary carer a break, to finding volunteers or paid carers that provide in-home care services.  Alternatively, there are respite services outside of the home, such as day care centres and nursing homes.

At Encore Care Homes, we provide respite care to residents whose families might be going away on holiday for a couple of weeks and want to make sure their loved ones are taken care of in their absence.  We also have respite residents that need a little more time to recover after a stay in hospital before they can return home.  Families also use our respite services to trial a stay in our homes before they make a permanent commitment, to make sure it is the right home for their loved one.

How does respite care work?

Respite care can take place in your own home, at day centres, or at residential or nursing care homes.  Respite in a nursing home offers the primary carer a vital break.  At Encore Care Homes, our respite care also provides a safe, welcoming place where individuals can enjoy a convalescent stay after an operation.  Similarly, respite care at Encore provides older persons the chance to meet other like-minded individuals and enjoy companionship during their short-term stay.  Respite care also provides the option to try a short stay in a care home to see if meets expectations and you feel comfortable there before making the commitment to become a permanent resident.

At Encore, the individual will receive a full healthcare assessment before admission is arranged.  This means that the clinical team of nurses and healthcare assistants are aware of the resident’s history and conditions.  This vital information allows them to build a complete picture of the individual – including their preferences, likes and dislikes – so that they can meet all the resident’s care requirements.  This ensures that the resident will be well taken care of by a team of healthcare experts.  Knowing the resident’s background means we can help to make them feel welcome and at home in an environment that meets the physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing needs of every person in our care.

How much does respite care cost in the UK?

Respite care costs vary in the UK and there are multiple factors that affect the cost.  As respite care is based on the care needs of the individual, costs are higher for nursing care needs compared to a residential stay.  Some providers might also charge a premium for respite due to it being a short stay.

At Encore Care Homes, there is no difference between our costs for respite or for permanent placements.  Our residential respite stays cost from approximately £1,000 per week.  However, for those that require extra care from trained nurses on-hand 24-hours a day, our nursing respite stays start from approximately £1,200 per week.  As always though, prices are confirmed after a full healthcare assessment to determine the care requirements of each individual.

Do you have to pay for respite care?

This depends on the type of respite care you need and your personal circumstances.  Financial help might be provided by local councils, charities, or benevolent funds.  Or else you might be required to pay for respite care yourself.  Local councils will provide you with a carer’s assessment so that they can decide how to best support you as a primary carer.  The local council will agree a support plan with you, which might include respite care for your loved one so that you can have a crucial breather.

After the carer’s assessment, the local council will carry out a financial assessment to ascertain what you are able to afford.  Your loved one will also need to have a financial assessment, which will take place after a healthcare assessment to confirm the type of care and support they require.

It is also possible to get a grant from Carers Trust to pay for respite care by applying through your local Carers Trust service.  Similarly, if you need support to pay for respite care, there are charities and benevolent funds that might be able to help.

If you do not qualify for financial support from your local council, the respite care might have to be self-funded by you or your loved one.

How long can you stay in respite care?

Respite care is temporary; however, it can be called upon as regularly as required.  At Encore Care Homes, we offer respite care to those needing a stay of between two to six weeks.  Residents are welcome to return as frequently as they wish though, and once a resident has enjoyed a short stay with us, they often find they settle in quickly on a return visit as they are already familiar with the people and the surroundings – helping them to feel more at home right away.  Families can also feel reassured that their loved one is in a safe, caring, and trusted environment.

Respite care at Encore Care Homes

We offer flexible, temporary respite care when you need it most. We work with you to tailor the care you, or your loved one may need during your stay with us.

Every Encore Care Home has been designed to provide residents with a comfortable and relaxing stay whether this is on a short-term basis or as a permanent resident.