Is a new approach for Dementia respite care needed?

Is a new approach for Dementia respite care needed?

Following the release of a BBC report earlier this year, professionals working within the care industry, specifically those who are concerned with the care of older people and dementia sufferers, have questioned: Is a new approach for Dementia respite care needed?

The definition of ‘dementia respite care’ is simply to provide relief, or alleviate the stress of care for family members of people effected with the disorder. However, it is becoming clear that these supposedly temporary solutions are forcing the care industry “to their knees” according to the Older People’s Commissioner, Sarah Rochira.

Not only is the current approach to Dementia respite care causing industry strain in an effort to cope with the demand, it’s increasingly proving to be ‘detrimental’ to the health and wellbeing of individuals in care, and carers alike.

With more than 45,000 people stricken with Dementia in Wales alone, with a little more than 40,000 carers, it’s clear that a fresh approach is needed to ease the pressure of a steadily buckling workload.

By the year 2021 it is estimated that we will see a 31% rise in the number of people suffering with dementia. A lack of funding and training means there simply aren’t enough carers to meet the growing needs of our society unless drastic changes are made soon.

Ms Rochira has also highlighted an issue within the current ‘language around respite’, believing the way respite is referred to and viewed in the public eye can be detrimental, as it often focuses on “separation” and providing a “break from the burden of care”.

Novacare | recruit is a cloud based recruitment tool designed for the care sector. In a society which is seeing a rise in ‘on-demand’ and flexible structures, the current system of respite care is fast becoming out-dated and unintuitive. Managing director, Stephen Wilson says, “There is too great a focus on taking people outside of their comfort zone and into a strange environment to provide respite, such as a care home.  Instead, we feel the focus should be on providing more support to people in their own homes.

“We should be designing support packages which help maintain peoples’ independence and engagement with their family, friends, neighbours and wider community.”

Humanity and compassion are vital tools which will be needed in order to change our approach to respite care going forward, as well as more technical, future-proof solutions to the recruitment and education of carers.

Of course, no matter where support is provided, getting the right staff with the skills, knowledge and experience is paramount.  Novacare | recruit is specially designed to help providers build their ideal staff team.
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