Getting the most out of Respite Care

Respite Care Guide

If you care for somebody with dementia, you need to remember to look after yourself. Sometimes this means taking a break, by getting help from respite services. Getting the most out of respite care has been designed to help you decide if and when you should use these services.

This guide is for carers of people living with dementia.

Deciding whether to use respite care is one of the hardest decisions a carer has to make. There are many resources giving you information about the care system. This is a guidebook with a difference: information for carers by carers.

Getting the most out of respite care provides insights from carers who have benefited from respite care, including:

  • stories—highlighting the benefits of day centres and residential services
  • case studies—helping you prepare and manage challenges that you may face
  • tips—including when to use it, how to book it in and how to make the most of respite care.

Key messages from the guide are that good respite care is available, that it helps ‘recharge your batteries’ and that it allows you to do other essential activities, such as shopping and working. It is also important not to feel guilty about using respite; you need to maintain your own health and the ability to attend to life’s necessary tasks in order to keep caring for your loved one.

You can download an electronic copy of the guide below.

Other resources in this series:

Focus on the Person Tool for Home Carers

This tool is designed to help you record information about the person you care for that can be quickly and easily provided to the hospital staff to assist them to provide personalised care. It is designed for family and home carers of a person with dementia.

Looking After Yourself While Looking After Someone With Dementia

As a carer it is important to look after yourself. If you’re not well it is difficult for you to look after someone else. This guide has information about the meaning of wellness and many handy strategies to help you improve your wellness and increase your resilience.

Getting the most out of Respite Care

If you care for somebody with dementia, you need to remember to look after yourself. Sometimes this means taking a break, by getting help from respite services. Getting the most out of respite care has been designed to help you decide if and when you should use these services.

Sexuality And People In Aged Care Facilities: A Guide For Partners And Families

This guide has been written for partners and families to help you understand more about sexuality, what it means and how and why it might still be important for people with dementia.

Transition to Residential Care

The transition to permanent residential care can be the most difficult time in your carer journey. Watch this 6 minute video to hear real advice from carers about how they dealt with both the practical and emotional aspects of transitioning from home-based to permanent residential care.

Authors: Prof. Elizabeth Beattie, Dr. Elaine Fielding, Dr Maria O'Reilly

Partners: QUT, Hammond Care Group, Alzheimer's Australia, DTSC Qld

Background:

Much of the information in this guide has been provided in a national survey by the DCRCs of more than 300 carers of people with dementia, which asked about their experiences and opinions of respite care. You can read the survey report here.

This guide also received generous input from Alzheimer’s Australia’s Consumer Dementia Research Network — a group of people living with dementia and carers of people with dementia.