Crossroads Lewis Creative Breaks
A story by Crossroads Lewis
This service gives a family carer a break of up to 3 nights/4 days. Our highly experienced team of Care Attendants provide 24 hour care at home service. Our team take over the role of the carer, meeting all needs, with minimal disruption to the cared-for. Priority is given to carers unable to use statutory respite, and the service is open to Young Carers.
What Crossroads Lewis Creative Breaks did
Service information and booking forms were sent to all carers known to our organisation. It was also well-publicised through the internet, press and through partnership working with Social Dept, GP practices, community nurses, and by referrals from other organisations e.g. Alzheimer's.
Breaks were offered on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority to those unable to take any other form of respite. All breaks provided care at home to the cared-for, who were supported by our Care Attendant Team for all their needs e.g. personal care, meals, medication, companionship. The breaks varied in length depending on the carer's/service user's needs, and were as flexible as possible.
Two carers who took day time hours only, used them to attend weddings on the island. All carers who took a break for one night or more, went to the mainland e.g. to visit family, meet up with friends, go shopping, take part in their hobby, go to a conference, attend a wedding.
4 carers wished only daytime hours 'taster' sessions.
1 carer took a break of 1 night/2 days a 'taster' break.
2 carers chose to split a full breaks e.g. going away for one night/two days, and going away again for two nights/three days.
1 carer received a break of 4 nights/5 days.
3 carers took a break of 3 nights/4 days.
What Crossroads Lewis has learnedBenefits: Enhanced our profile in the community, provided more hours of work to staff, carers feel more supported, satisfaction in care attendant team who understand the value of short breaks to carers. Staff get to know service users very well. Providing 'taster' sessions with daytime hours, to encourage those new to the service to take up full breaks.
Challenges: Being flexible to changing plans/needs, cancelled breaks, service demand quiet at certain times of year so influx of breaks around same time is difficult to manage along with other core services, gaining thorough risk assessments on those we have not provided a serivce to previously.