It has been an interesting couple of weeks since my last post. On Nov 14 I attended a workshop run by the Carer Support people about how to organise respite care. As a carer I am entitled to have 63 days of subsidised respite care per year. Carer Support recommend that all carers should organise respite care every 3 months for 2 weeks, so that we don’t end up needing care ourselves. The cost to the carer is $43.22 per night ($302 per week). The Commonwealth Government pays everything else. It sounds good in theory, but the practice is hard to do. First we need to find an Aged Care Facility that caters for our needs, that is high care, secure with activities for a person with dementia. Then we need to find a facility that has vacancies. It also means visiting the facilities and finding out face to face with the administration how the place would suit us. Once we find one that is suitable we were advised to book up 12 months in advance at 3 monthly intervals. Carer Support provided list of facilities in our area. There is also a website to check out. It is a pity the nursing home in our village does not cater for respite care at this stage. There are plans for provide it some time in the next 2 years. In addition there are several things to organise for when the respite is taken. For example, name labels on all clothes, an official medications chart from our GP. Whilst I was at the workshop a couple of friends took my wife out for the day. If I couldn’t organise someone to do that Carer Support would have provided someone from their staff at no cost.
Yesterday I had a one-on-one session with our Case Manager from Carer Support for an hour. We talked about the full range of carer problems and agreed on a strategy for more assistance starting in the New Year. She also suggested some strategies for some of the more challenging behaviour patterns we have been experiencing.