Being a caregiver for a dependant can often be demanding and make many aspects of life more challenging. As a caregiver, you want to ensure your loved ones are living the best quality of life they can, but this doesn’t mean that taking a break sometimes is not needed. Research shows that those providing more than 50 hours of care per week are twice as likely to report ill-health as those not providing care. Additionally, professional care is often necessary if conditions should worsen. Care providers can support with this and offer those much-needed breaks, often called respite care.
Knowing what to look for is important when considering the provision of care for those closest to you. Respite can mean different things to different carers, from support workers helping look after the person you care for in their home, to simply taking a holiday with or without the person you care for. Below we’ve put together the key things to consider when making what can sometimes be very difficult decisions, whatever the type of care required.
Will your care support needs be annually reviewed?
Sometimes called a ‘person-centred’ review, getting an annual review of the support you and your family need from your care provider is key to ensure any changes in circumstances are addressed. It should involve you and the person you care for, and it’s a good idea to find out how the support provided will be reviewed and how often.
Are the nurses and care support staff high-quality?
Your care provider should arrange quality staff who support you and your family based on your individual needs. There are some indicators you can check to reassure yourself, such as whether DBS checks are carried out on all members of staff, that the training provided complies with the legal requirements and staff are properly inducted around care standards before providing care on their own. It’s also useful to look at how the company treats its nurses and healthcare support staff to help them feel committed and happy in their role.
Does the care provider meet quality standards?
Your chosen care provider should meet certain regulatory standards. Checking these are met can reassure you that you and your family will receive the highest quality of care. In England, your care provider should be registered with the Care Quality Commission, you should check its out-of-hours service and look for whether they carry out health and safety and fire safety checks.
Are they experienced in the services you need?
The care provider that is supporting you and your relative should have plenty of experience and knowledge. Even better if they specialise in the particular area of care you need, such as a learning disabilities service or specialisms in complex critical care. Always ask to see credentials, qualifications and request details of past experience – good care providers will be happy to oblige.
Getting more help at home can give you a chance to take a break from caring and ensure the person you care for is being well supported. Find out more about what support may be available to you at carersweek.org. At TCS, high quality care is our number one priority, you can find out more information about our services and how TCS can support you by talking to our team.