Day Respite Service
A story by Community Care Assynt
We provided lunch clubs and day activities for older people with disabilities, offering help and support to their carers.
Community Care Assynt is a project which promotes the independence of older people through the provision of lunch clubs and activities to help them stay within a social circle. We also offer carers a day respite service which allows carers to attend medical or other important appointments.
What Day Respite Service did
No new staff were recruited to assist in the delivery of the service as and when required. However due to the nature of the work they were not always available on some occasions. 1 staff member from the team took overall control of the project and undertook training and managed the service. No new staff were recruited to assist in the delivery of the service. Staff from within the existing staff team and relief staff were utilised. However due to the nature of the work there were not always
staff or relied staff available on some occasions. Management of the service was held within the management team.
The service was advertised in the local Assynt News, all existing centre clients and carers were provided with a leaflet outlining the service. Posters were made available in local public places i.e. shops and medical centre. The service was also promoted at a monthly MDT meeting which meets to discuss clients and potential client’s needs. All clients taking up the service were chosen on a needs led basis and all potential service users were assessed through direct contact and services offered where applicable.
Over the service period, the usage of the service was split between use of the centre and home use. Eight clients used the service. 203 hours were used by the clients and carers. The number of hours used was to allow carers the opportunity to attend appointments i.e. hospital, hair etc. The use of the centre allowed for clients to take part in lunch clubs and centre activities i.e. creative crafts, life book or reminiscing around personal history, playing board games or jigsaws.
However he did know the staff from the project because he had seen them grow up over the years as a local figure in the community. The day respite service allowed staff he knew to assist him in his own home and that his wife knew his medical needs would be met as well as wellbeing. The role of assessment was paramount in providing the right service and the right person to provide the in home care. The relationship between the centre staff and KJ's wife became strong and several sessions were taken up. However this was late in the process of the project it it came to an end before a more long term plan could be created.
They live in a very rural area and had for many years lived in another country. Moving back to Scotland was a good move years earlier but the deteriorating effect of her dementia was putting strain on their relationship. The initial assessment was done and the day respite service was seen as a stepping stone to promoting the carers independence but also allowed for ER more support.
The decision to promote ER's independence using the day respite service was also seen as positive. Using the local older persona centre alongside the day respite further promoted ER's independence and gave her husband more support.
What Community Care Assynt has learnedWe have seen that although there is a need for a service the infrastructure needs to be in place to make sure the provision can be supported. In our case the staffing in place was not adequate to provide the service as effectively as it could have been. We have seen that the service users have continued to access the service other than day respite after it was ended.
Due to the nature of he service and its reference to the local area, we have seen that the projects was seen as a good positive addition to local services, but that its take up was stinted and that this could have been due to the local community using family and friends first before our Day respite.