When we offer 24 hour care, we mean exactly that: our carers move into the home of their client and are with them all the time.
But let’s face it, nobody is physically able to work 24/7, it is just not possible. In terms of daily routine our carers will work around their client’s wishes and habits, going to bed when they do, getting up around the same time etc. It works well.
But our carers can’t be “on” all the time and it’s so important that they get a proper break regularly. Ideally they get a minimum of 14 hours off a week, where possible split equally between the 7 days. During this time off carers should be free to do whatever they choose, and come and go as they wish.
I spoke with one of our carers recently about getting time off and she said:
“One of my regular clients can’t be left on his own, so I take an hour off each afternoon during the week when his daughter comes in for a cup of tea and then I have Saturday afternoon off when she takes him to her house to spend time with the family. This gives me a chance to go into town or meet up with friends for a few hours. It works really well for all of us and means I get a proper break to be myself. I come back on Saturday night feeling refreshed and ready to go all over again.”
As you can see, it’s important to our carers that they get a chance to get out of the house and recharge their batteries. It keeps them happy and healthy, which means they can give the best care possible to their clients.
You can also see from this example that, although the guidance says a carer should get 2 hours off a day, a simple conversation with her will help you to establish a routine that works for everyone. Our carers are willing to be flexible, all you need to do is talk about it.