Respite care in a care home aims to give the carer a break from their caring role. This could be an occasional overnight during the week so the carer gets a good night’s sleep or for a longer period of time. Respite care is so important for both the cared for person and their carer, and it can often be required urgently, so it is worth planning ahead to know what your options could be.
Norfolk Adult Social Care offer advice, care and support for people who find themselves in difficult situations and need help. Carers are entitled to a ‘Carer’s Assessment’ of their own needs even if the person they care for has not been assessed. If you need to have a break from caring then you can explain this during an assessment as they offer support to carers of people in Norfolk who need a one-off or short term break via Norfolk Carers Support.
Along with a needs assessment to establish both the needs of the person cared for as well as the carer, they will also do a financial assessment, which may mean that the person being cared for is charged for respite services, according to their means. For more information on how to apply visit the Norfolk County Council website.
Following on from the assessments, the local authority should offer a choice in the way that the services they suggest are provided, and may well provide the funds through the Direct Payments system, to you/the person caring to buy the service directly from the appropriate agency or person.
Short-stay in a Care Home
Short Stay Care can be arranged through Social Services or privately. It may be cheaper to arrange it through Adult Social Services as charges are then dependent on your ability to pay, though you will need to have the financial assessment mentioned above. Some Local Authority Care Homes have a few dedicated respite care beds. Other Care Homes may provide short-stay care if they have rooms available. The care provided in these homes will be alongside permanent residents of the home and can be a useful way of easing the person into a care home environment. Sometimes this cannot be booked in advance as availability may depend on whether the home has any rooms vacant.
To download Norfolk County Council’s Care Services Directory for Norfolk, (a free publication with details of care services available) go to Care Choices or call their Customer Service Centre on 0344 8008020.
Norfolk Carers also offer information on a wide range of care homes that will accept short-term residents. For information, go to Norfolk Carers or call the Norfolk Carers Advice Line: 0808 8089876 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Respite care in a hospital
For people with medical needs, respite care at a hospital may be available if the patient meets the NHS continuing care criteria. GPs can refer patients to the local community services who will undertake an assessment of the patient’s needs following which a decision will be made about the suitability for respite care provision. Occasionally, GPs can refer a patient for admission to hospital at short notice, but this will depend on individual circumstances.
Age UK Norfolk offer high standards of 24-hour respite care in hotel-style accommodation at their Norwich Respite Centre located within the Grays Fair Community Care Complex in Costessey. Support is offered to individuals who care for relatives or friends by helping them to plan for holidays or a break away. Bookings can be made in advance as well as short notice emergency admissions. For information, or to book a free assessment, call on 0303 3000143.
Independence Matters Short Break Respite Support
Independence Matters offer a CQC registered Short break service providing respite support using their short break facilities in specially designed premises in three convenient locations across Norfolk. Their short break service also provides accommodation for people being discharged from hospital. For information, go to Independence Matters or call on 0300 7900508 or email email@example.com.
Their respite services are located at:
- Church Green Lodge, Sprowston, Norwich. NR7 8TE
- Faro Lodge, Galyon Road, King’s Lynn. PE30 3YE
- Pine Lodge, High Road, Repps-with-Bastwick, Gt Yarmouth. NR29 5JA
NHS Immediate Care
NHS intermediate care is free temporary care at home for 6 weeks following a stay in hospital, or to enable the person being cared for to stay at home following an emergency breakdown in care services (for example, a caring partner has been taken into hospital). If your parent has been in hospital, the hospital social work team will arrange the care before the patient is discharged. If your parent is at home, contact their local social services department, and make sure you let them know that it is an emergency situation.
There are lots of levels of respite care and service providers, here are some more useful links….
For an overall perspective on respite care: Which? Elderly Care.
For at home domiciliary care options: UK Homecare.
It is also worth contacting local charities such as AgeUK, MacMillan, Carers Trust and Royal Voluntary Service, as there will be other local low cost options to consider as well.
If you have experience of finding respite care for your parent or friend, or would like to ask other’s advice and read about their experience, have a look at Age Space Forum.