Carers' perspectives of respite care in Australia: An evaluative study.
ABSTRACT Abstract Caring for someone with dementia is burdensome and challenging. In Australia, respite services help carers to cope with these demands. In this descriptive study, 62 carers of people with dementia provided information on their use of respite care, its effectiveness and their satisfaction with services provided during the preceding 12 months. Results indicated that carers used day centre, in-home, residential, regular outings and cottage care. The main reasons for use were to assist with managing care, take a break, or attend to health problems. Although 78% of carers rated respite as beneficial to their care recipients, most suggested areas that required attention. Improvements included the need for more time and flexibility, better quality and more permanent staff, improved communication, bureaucracy, administration and affordability. Respite providers need to recognize these limitations and develop strategies to improve the delivery of diverse respite care for carers of people with dementia.