More and more people are caring themselves for older parents or family members rather than using professional care services. According to Carers UK, these informal carers are saving the country £119bn a year.
However, many carers do find they need to temporarily access some formal, short-term care services from time to time. These services are:
- respite care
- convalescent care
Respite care is when someone else temporarily looks after the person you usually care for. It gives both of you a break and can come in the following forms:
- increased support in the home
- a short stay somewhere else, like a care home.
If you provide “regular and substantial care” for a family member or friend you may be entitled to respite care from your local authority. If you’re assessed as needing respite care you may get it free of charge, depending on the financial status of the person you care for.
When people are discharged from hospital after an illness or operation they may need extra care while they recover. This is called convalescent care.
Many hospitals have programmes for people who need convalescent care. However, limited resources and strict eligibility criteria, mean that many older people in need of a little extra support do not necessarily qualify. Local authorities don’t generally provide convalescent care. Consequently it’s often provided by family, friends and voluntary organisations. You can also pay for private convalescent care from care agencies or care homes.
Rehabilitation is about restoring an individual to their full potential following injury or illness. It usually involves a multi-disciplinary team, including nurses and therapists. This team works together to support the person being cared for and their family. Rehabilitation can be provided to people in their own home, in hospital or in specialist units.
Rehabilitation programmes funded by the NHS are often referred to as intermediate care or re-enablement programmes. These are targeted at patients with a recognised rehabilitation potential and are generally arranged and funded by the NHS for up to six weeks.
For over 30 years Grace Care has specialised in providing independent care advice, helping families with expert advice about choice of care, care costs, allowances and information on how best to navigate the NHS and Social Services.