Making the Most Out of Your Short-Term Accommodation/Respite

Taking a break from caregiving is often necessary, both for your own well-being and physical health, and also to give your loved one with special needs a much-needed break. But if you’re worried about leaving them in unfamiliar hands or how they might cope without you, it’s important to understand how respite care works and the options available to you.

In this blog post, we will look at making the most out of a short-term accommodation/respite stay by discussing strategies for making sure it goes as smoothly as possible. We will discuss issues such as finding the right provider, what questions to ask and preparing your loved one for their stay, and setting boundaries on things like communication during the period.

Finding The Right Short-Term Accommodation Provider

When searching for a short-term accommodation provider, it’s important to do some research before committing to any service. Short term accommodation/respite by looking through ratings and reviews online or asking people in your community that may have used short-term accommodation services before.

What Questions Should You Ask The Provider

1) Where is the accommodation located?

2) If you require fully accessible accommodation, ask your provider: 

a. If they have a high-low bed in the house.

b. If they have a hoist in the house.

c. If their bathroom is fully accessible.

d. If their entrance has a ramp.

e. If there are slip-resistance matt.

3) If you do not require fully accessible accommodation, inform them accordingly.

4) Ask if the kitchen is fully equipped.

5) Inquire if the accommodation has washing machines and laundry facilities.

6) Check that all alarms are working and that fire blankets and first aid items are in the house.

7) Find out if the accommodation has Wi-Fi or telephone service available.

8) Ask if the accommodation is dog friendly.

9) Inquire whether there is a car park available.

10) Clarify whether you will share the accommodation with other NDIS participants during your short term accommodation/respite.

11) Determine whether you will be sharing a bathroom with other respite care users during your visit.

12) What measures are in place to control covid if you use short term accommodation/respite common equipment and areas?

13) Let the provider know if you will utilize their support team for short-term accommodation/respite support.

a) Is the support worker experienced?

b) Inform the provider if you are also comfortable with a less experienced support worker.

c) Please discuss with the provider what the support worker will be doing when you are not receiving support from them.

d) Communicate with the provider if support workers know how to set boundaries and provide space when required.

e) Communicate with the provider if you want assistance from a specific skilled support worker during your short-term accommodation/respite.

f) Communicate with the provider on roles and responsibilities of support workers during your short-term accommodation short term accommodation/respite.

14) If you are engaging your support team, always ask the provider:

a) How will this arrangement work?

b) Do they allow this in their accommodation?

c) Where will the support worker or PCA short term accommodation/respite if you are on 1:1 care?

d) How would the quote work if you were engaging your support team?

e) Who will take care of SW’s food and their activities with you?

f) Who will pay the support worker?

g) Who will pay for SW’s short-term accommodation/respite at the accommodation?

15) Inform the provider how many hours of support you would require.

16) Inform the provider, what is your gender-specific preference for supporting you. 

17) Inform the provider about your allergies.

18) Inform the provider about- whom you would not like to share accommodation.

19) How is food provided at their accommodation?

20) If you are going independently, what are their food arrangements?

21) If you share the accommodation, how would they accommodate your food requirements?

22) Do you have to cook your food, and they will provide the material or have chefs to cook meals for you?

23) What is their arrangement if you want to have meals outside the house?

24) What is their arrangement if you wish to get a takeaway? Who will pay for the food?

25) What activities do they provide?

26) What outdoor activities do they have?

27) How would these activities help you learn, grow, develop, and socialize with the community?

28) How will these activities help you give a necessary break from your routine?

29) If you have specific goals to achieve, communicate with your providers.

30) Always ask who will pay for the activities.

31) Always ask how they will charge for travel and transportation to all the activities.

32) Communicate your aims and goals for short-term accommodation/respite.

33) Communicate your expectations from short-term accommodation/respite.

34) Communicate what specific areas you want to work on.

35) Always speak your mind, communicate openly and transparently, and do not settle down until it satisfies your needs.

Preparing Your Loved One For Their Short term accommodation/respite

No matter how comfortable you are with the short term accommodation/respite provider, chances are that your loved one with special needs may struggle with being away from home or leaving behind familiar caregivers. To ensure they receive adequate emotional support throughout their short-term accommodation/respite, it can be helpful to create an “emergency box” full of items that remind them of home – such as photos of family members or favourite toys – which can bring comfort during stressful times. Additionally, arrange regular contact with family either over the phone or through video calls so that feelings of loneliness don’t overwhelm them.

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