Respite services for older people

Authors

  • David Evans RN DipN BN MNS PhD,

    Senior Lecturer, Corresponding author
    • School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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  • Emmanuel Lee RN BN

    Research Assistant
    1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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Correspondence: David Evans, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia. Email: david.evans@unisa.edu.au

Abstract

Respite is an important strategy for supporting family carers and care recipients. However, it is a complex intervention and the term ‘respite’ is often used as a generic descriptor for a diverse service. The aim of this study was to explore the characteristics of respite services for older people in South Australia. A 32 item questionnaire that was developed from the literature was distributed to coordinators of respite services for older people. The findings show that respite is most often a pre-planned service offered to clients for a week or more. It encompasses many different types; the most common was residential care facility overnight respite. Although there is flexibility in the service, there is a scope to increase the choices that are available to carers and care recipients.

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