Choosing Respite Care For Your Special Needs Child

As a parent with a special needs child, you might be considering respite care and may also be overwhelmed with all of the choices. Perhaps you have multiple questions you’re looking to get answered. 

As parents raising children who have a disability, “me time” quickly becomes a fantasy instead of a reality. While you’d love to have some time for yourself, finding someone you trust to care for your child’s needs can be challenging. 

It doesn’t have to be this difficult, though. We’ll show you what you need to know about respite care and what types of services are available to you and your family. 

Understanding Respite Care

Respite care is a type of home care in which a caretaker looks after your child. This care can be for a few hours, overnight, or even a few weeks. You can enjoy this time to yourself occasionally or regularly.

Different Types of Respite Care

Respite care services have many benefits, depending on where you live, your child’s age and needs, and what you want to get from these services. However, it’s essential to make plans for this care since many of these services have a waiting list.

Some of the many types of respite disability support services available include the following.

In-Home Respite Care

In-home respite care is when a caretaker comes to your home to take care of your child. This type of care can be for a few hours to more extended periods, such as overnight. The caretaker may stay home with your child or take them to another location for exercise or leisure activity.

Centre-Based Respite Care

Centre-based care is when your child goes to a group centre for part of the day. There they’ll participate in things like clubs and group activities.

Community Access Respite Care

Community access respite care helps your child participate in activities in your community. The goal is to help them develop social and independent living skills. Sometimes this happens at a group centre, but at other times a disability support worker may go places in the community with your child and family.

Short-Term Accommodations

Short-term accommodations are when your child stays at a residential care home overnight or for a more extended period.

Emergency Respite Care

Emergency respite care is also available for children. While other types of respite care need to be booked in advance, this is intended as short-term crisis care. It’s available when something unexpected occurs, leaving you unable to care for your child (e.g., illness).

Finding Funding for Respite Services

While some of these disability services are available for free, you’ll have to pay for others. How much you’ll pay will depend upon the type of care your child receives, who your provider is, and how long you’ll need respite care.

Children who are eligible for National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIS) already have a professional case manager in place. This case manager is who you should discuss your child’s and family’s needs with. NDIS may be able to pay for support so that you can take a break. For instance, they may pay for day services disability to help your child take care of themselves, develop social skills, and participate in activities in their school and community.

Children who aren’t eligible for NDIS may still be able to get funding to help with the cost of home assistance.

Interviewing Caregivers

Once you’ve decided to move forward with the process, you should take some time to interview potential caregivers at caregiving agencies. Before doing so, you should write down your child’s needs (e.g., toileting, communicating).  

These notes will allow you to ensure that the caregiver is skilled and trained to provide your child with what they need. During this phone call, you’ll also want to ask about background and reference checks. Don’t just simply ask for these things and forget about them. Make sure you call these references to inquire about the caregiver and check their credentials and experience for yourself.

Appreciating the Importance of Disability Support Services Sunshine Coast

As a parent of a special needs child, it can be challenging to have someone else be responsible for their care, even for a short period of time. You may even think that you’re the only person who can do this, and nobody else will meet all of your child’s needs. 

However, it’s essential to realize that you’re not a superhero, and you don’t need to be. Eventually, you’re going to feel drained, and it will be crucial that you take a break to recharge and rest. By allowing yourself to do so, you’re ensuring that you’ll be able to do more for your child.

Your child will also benefit from the time away from you. During this time, they’ll learn that other people are willing to help them. They’ll also be able to develop new friendships, experience new things, and have fun.

While it may take some time to find affordable care, once it’s in place, you may find yourself wondering how you ever lived without it. These services give you time to take care of your mental health so you can, in turn, have more energy to take care of your children and your family. 

To take steps forward in taking care of yourself and your loved ones, reach out to us at Sunshine Coast Disability Services. We provide a variety of services, including but not limited to:

  • In-home or out-of-home short-term accommodation for those with disabilities
  • Skilled and trained medical professionals and caretakers who will always put your loved one’s well-being and needs first
  • Assisting with the development of life skills
  • Assisting with daily life tasks
  • Assisting with and encouraging participation in social and community activities

If you’re considering respite care for your loved one, contact Sunshine Coast Disability Services and let’s discuss your needs.