The One Where Ross And Rachel Take A Break*: a fresh look at respite

* Other episodes of Friends are available 🙂

Last year we looked at respite options for people with dementia to feed into a report for the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales. Here we reflect on what we found and consider some of the key points, especially around the idea of respite being a joint activity for both the person with dementia and the carer.

What is respite?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘respite’ as being a short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant. The traditional view of respite is that it gives the carer a break from caring. The person with dementia goes somewhere, such as a day centre or a care home for an overnight stay. It is often accessed as a last resort when the carer reaches crisis point, and as such can have negative connotations. Many people feel that it suggests that caring is a burden and the carer is failing if they need respite. It can also make the carer feel guilty, especially if the respite has a negative effect on the person with dementia, for example the disruption of staying in a different place. The focus tends to be on helping the carer, and the outcomes for the person with dementia can often be overlooked. Continue reading “The One Where Ross And Rachel Take A Break*: a fresh look at respite”