Taking care of your loved one can be very difficult for you because you have to be with them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Choosing a caregiver even for a day is just as important as choosing one for a couple of months. You need to know that your relative is well taken care of for those few hours. You also need a break for yourself once in a while to catch up with a few things. Here are some guidelines you need to know on how to choose a suitable caregiver for a day or for a few hours.
Get a local authority assessment for professional advice about the type of respite care needed. Both the caregiver and the patient should have an assessment to make sure that nothing is missed and that the patient gets a caregiver who can cater to all of his/her needs.
Clarify funding in advance
Get a local authority means test to see if you are eligible for help with funding, so that you know what your options are.
Find out costs
Before making any decisions, find out what costs are involved. Someday centers charge for attendance and might charge extra for transport and meals. See also financing respite care for more detailed information.
Ensure you make decisions jointly
Any decisions about respite care should be made jointly with your relative, whenever possible. Talk to them about their preferences and discuss the options. Explain why the respite care is needed and what is involved.
Make sure that any day centers or respite care center can accommodate your relative’s needs. For example, if your relative is in a wheelchair, make sure that the chosen day center is wheelchair-accessible. If your relative has dementia, make sure that any staff employed to take care of them have the necessary experience and training to deal with this.
Consider your relative’s interests
If you are trying to arrange day care or a short break for your relative, discuss with him/her what he/she would enjoy. Try to match clubs to their hobbies and interests.
Visit potential respite providers
Before making any decisions, try to visit the day centers or care homes on your shortlist to get an idea of what they are like. If possible, take your relative with you and make sure they understand what is going on. If you are arranging emergency respite care, there may not always be time to visit.
Do a background check by checking the Care Quality Commission for information about the care provider.
Meet prospective caregivers
If possible, try to meet any caregivers that might provide care while you are away. Make sure that you and your relative are happy with them.
It is a good idea to plan for respite care in advance, just in case you need to find care at short notice. Know who you can call in case of an emergency.