It is a fact, not very well known, that governments save vast amounts of money when family members volunteer to care for a relative. It can be a husband or wife looking after a spouse or it could be a parent looking after a child or even a middle aged child looking after aged parents. To have someone who needs care placed in a facility or institution imposes a financial burden upon the relevant government authority. But if the person in care is able to remain in their own home and be looked after by a relative, the cost to the government is far less.

But when an untrained family member takes on the responsibility of caring for a loved one, there can be a detrimental effect on the health of the person providing the care. They may have little or no training in attending to the daily needs of their patients. They may find their previous life with its social activities and more is no longer able to be enjoyed. The physical and/or mental health of the person providing the care can suffer.

This is where ” comes into its own. It is called respite care because it provides relief or rest or respite for the care giver. It might be for only a day or a weekend or longer such as a week or fortnight. It means that someone with the necessary skills can fill in for the caregiver.

The person requiring care gets expert attention and a family member can go away perhaps on a holiday and relax knowing that their duties are being professionally performed in their absence. Respite care is vitally important because it looks after the person who’s been doing the looking after. And let’s face it, without the caregivers society would be much the poorer.

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