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Scheme to offer 3 types of respite to carers and those they look after

25 June 2010

Carers in Jersey who look after adults with complex needs and long-term clinical conditions are to benefit from new schemes in the community which will offer respite to both themselves and the people they look after.

The move to offer flexible respite services follows on from the Carers Strategy, which was developed in the Island in 2008, and launched in June 2009, involving both the voluntary sector and individual carers. The aim was to develop a strategy and framework for carers.

As part of this, new respite options are being developed in Jersey, through the Health and Social Services Department forming partnerships with other organisations and charities. These respite options, which aim to meet different needs - depending on whether carers require a short or long break from their role as a carer - will become available to families. There will be a managed process to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from the respite on offer, and that it is tailored to people’s needs.

3 types of care

Around £475,000 has been identified to meet the costs of providing the flexible care for adults, which has 3 distinct strands. This money was gained via an amendment to the business plan tabled by Senator Ben Shenton.

The first type of care caters for people who need regular, short term, respite breaks away from home while their carer has a break. Following a tendering process, a suitable respite unit especially for young adults with complex needs has now been found, and this is a 4-bed respite unit at Highlands Luxury Care Home (formerly Bon Air Nursing Home) with the service provided by Four Seasons Healthcare Ltd.

The second type of care to be set up is family respite, where flexible care can be provided for a family in the evenings, or at the weekend, to give carers the opportunity to spend time away from the home. Time can be ‘blocked’ out for a few hours, and this service will be provided by local charity Family Nursing and Home Care.

The third type of respite on offer is the opportunity for a carefully chosen, qualified carer to take the person who needs care out of the home environment for an activity. This type of care would enable families and their nominated carer to build up a good relationship over time, and this service is to be provided by a small local company, Total Care.

Respite for those who play vital role

Speaking about the new initiatives, head of the adult social work service, John Cox, said “We believe that these new services will offer people real respite from a caring role, in a variety of situations. We know that every day, people take on new caring responsibilities, performing a crucial role for families and in the wider community too.

“As most people are living longer, many are developing long-term clinical conditions and the vast majority have rising expectations in terms of maintaining maximum independence and control over their own lives. Consequently, an increasing number of us may find ourselves taking on a caring role at some point in our lives.

“Carers play a vital role by providing support, care and help with day-to-day tasks to those who otherwise would struggle to manage alone.”

Health and Social Services Minister Deputy Anne Pryke said "Families who care for their loved ones face challenging situations day after day. Caring can be a challenging task, and to have peace of mind to know that a loved one is being cared for while they themselves enjoy a break, whether it is short or long, is essential. Many people across the care sector in Jersey have worked very hard to develop this range of facilities. This is a vital step forward for healthcare in Jersey and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to make this a success."

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