What is in-home respite care and why is it important?

May 12, 2020

The wellbeing of older Australians being cared for in their homes is an important and ongoing priority for family caregivers and home care providers.

Equally as important is the mental and physical wellbeing of those looking after their loved ones. This is why Mayflower also offers respite care services to support primary caregivers.

Mayflower’s in-home respite care prioritises both the wellbeing of ageing individuals and other care recipients as well as the wellbeing of primary carers who occasionally need a break.

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There’s no place like home

Home is where the heart is. This is a common phrase known and used by many communities around the world. But as it turns out, home is not just where the heart is. Home is also where older Australians want to live their lives and remain as they age.

Home care services enable older Australians to continue living in their homes proudly and independently, and enjoy time in their local community surrounded by those they love and those with whom they have strong connections.

With Mayflower’s Annual Report revealing that 75% of retirement village residents expect to use home care services in the future, it is clear that these services, and home care providers, are making a difference for those who need it most.

About in-home respite care

Many people don’t see themselves as primary caregivers but simply as children, parents, partners or friends who care for someone close to them.

However, more than 2.7 million Australians care for someone with a disability, a medical condition, mental illness or someone who is frail due to age.

That’s 12% of the population providing around 1.9 billion hours of care.

In-home respite care gives carers access to some downtime and a break from their everyday role so they can attend to personal business and look after themselves for a certain amount of time.

Moreover, they are able to temporarily step away from their important carer responsibilities while having the peace of mind that their loved one is safe with a qualified carer.

As explained by the Australian Government’s Carer Gateway, “Respite care is when someone else takes care of the person you care for, so that you can have a break. A break can give you time to do everyday activities or just to relax, deal with stress and look after yourself.”

In-home respite gives primary carers a much-needed break

A carer may rely on in-home respite care when they have a family holiday scheduled or they have to attend an appointment.

Alternatively, they may need to call on emergency respite care services if they are experiencing an illness or health issue of their own.

Primary carers can request care coverage for just a few hours or for an extended period of time. Through Mayflower, caregivers can have access to care for an hour or two, overnight care or even 24-hour respite.

Providing in-home care services can be exhausting work, physically, mentally and emotionally, so a moment away can make all the difference to a primary caregiver’s wellbeing.

Dementia Australia has found that a regular break allows carers to “recharge and avoid burnout” so that they can continue providing care services in a way that is healthier and more sustainable.

Respite care also benefits care recipients

In addition to offering carers the chance to rest and attend to their personal lives, in-home respite care can positively benefit those being cared for in a range of ways.

Home is a social environment for most elderly Australians; the Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported that more than 97% participate in social activities at home.

According to Dementia Australia, respite care “gives a person with dementia an opportunity to socialise and meet other people.” This can be true of other care recipients as well.

These new interactions can lead to engaging conversations, fresh ideas and novel social activities that can culminate in an exciting and rewarding experience for care recipients as well as their primary caregivers following the period of respite.

Accessing respite care through Mayflower

Mayflower can help ensure that care recipients have access to the services that allow them to live life independently. In addition, our respite care services empower caregivers to also be independent and able to look after themselves.

At Mayflower, we offer a variety of home care services, including respite care in Melbourne, across the Bayside and Northern Suburb communities.

Contact us today to learn more about our in-home respite care services and how our services can give you the time and space you need.