The birth of a child with a disability or chronic illness, or the discovery that a child has a disability, has a profound effect on a family.
When parents learn that their child has a disability or special health care need, they begin the process of continuous, lifelong adjustment. Adjustment can include periods of stress, grief, frustration, and isolation. Coping with uncertainty about the child's development may interfere with the parents' ability to provide support for each other and to other family members. Even performing the basic necessities of daily life, such as grocery shopping, or cleaning the house can become difficult to impossible.
This is where the support of relatives, friends, and care service providers, is crucial.
All parents need a break now and then, to have time for themselves but this is extremely true of children with disabilities or chronic illness. Of course if you’re a mum who cares for their child full time, getting ‘time out’ to just breathe and enjoy time with their partner, or concentrate on other siblings, is easier said than done.
Respite care is an essential part of the overall support that families need to look after their disabled child at home, and can provide assistance to all members of the family. This type of care can be anything from an hour a week, to several weeks at a time, on a periodic or regular basis.
The most difficult problem for a family with a child with a special need is finding the quality of care and expertise the child needs. Trusting a carer to look after their child will be extremely hard, as is the parent’s ability to allow themselves to enjoy time off. Respite care can be expensive, and unfortunately parents cannot always access the funding they need for the support they so deserve. Parents deciding to leave their child in the care of someone else, either in or outside their home, may experience a variety of hesitations. They can have feelings of guilt, anxiety, even a sense of loss of control. And yet despite all of this, respite care for these parents is a vital service – a necessity not a luxury.
Absolute Healthcare staff provide care for a variety of children and young people in the Hampshire area, giving much needed respite breaks for their parents. Our Director of Care is a registered nurse, and therefore our staff are specifically trained in managing the needs of children with complex medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis.
We tailor our service to each individual parent, based on clinical needs, personal preferences and budget – and we always go the extra mile to accommodate requests to help enrich the child’s social and environmental experiences in the community.
We also appreciate that as the child grows older, his or her needs, personality and ideas about life will change also. Absolute staff can grow and develop alongside a young person, to see them into adulthood. The same care team can be assigned to transition with them, providing a seamless ongoing care service.
If you or anyone you know is considering respite care for a disabled child in the area please give us a call, we can talk you through some case studies of some of the children we currently look after, and then visit you to discuss how we think we’d be able to help.