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4 benefits of respite care in the current climate

2nd July 2020

Respite care is an incredibly valuable opportunity, not only for families and caregivers, but also for their loved ones who reap a number of health and social benefits from this valuable service. The current restrictions in Victoria have meant the closure of many facilities offering respite services, however not all avenues of respite have been closed off due to the pandemic.

Respite care within a residential aged care home is still an option for people across Victoria, and there are a number of benefits:

1. Provides carers with a much needed break

    The restrictions have not only taken a toll on older Australians but their caregivers, whether it be a family member or paid care. COVID-19 is having a detrimental effect on caregivers, with 88% saying they have experienced increased stress levels (Caring Fairly, 2020). While the role of carer is an honour, it’s important that carers look out for not only their loved ones, but for themselves during this time of great unease and change.

    2. Respite can help to protect older Australians

      Government and health directives across the globe are encouraging everyone to wash their hands and keep their distance, however if you venture out of your home, this is not guaranteed. Residential aged care homes across the nation now have visitor restrictions, with all visitors requiring a current flu vaccination and temperature check at every visit. A respite stay could be a great way to ensure your loved one is safe and supported in their interactions, with the residential site ensuring all their essential needs are covered.

      3. You’re not so isolated with respite

        While your loved one is being cared for in a safe and supported environment, not only will their physical health and wellbeing be cared for, but their mental and social wellbeing will also be looked after. Isolation for seniors increases the chance of physical and mental illness, with isolation being linked to an increased chance of developing dementia (Stonegate, 2018). You can be assured your loved one will be able to socialise in an environment with like-minded individuals within a safe community during their respite stay.

        4. Good opportunity to try before you buy

          Respite may not just be a temporary option for you and your loved one. For a lot of people, changes to how we work and live may have accentuated the needs of your loved one, and in turn your own capacity to care for and address these needs. A respite stay gives you and your loved one the option to try a different way of life, allowing you to see if it’s an enjoyable experience for your loved one, and potentially a viable solution for the family. The current climate provides a great opportunity to try respite care within a residential aged care home.