Choosing a respite care provider in Northern Ireland

It can feel daunting to find the right care option for the person with dementia and you. It’s a good idea to meet with care providers to find out more about how they work and how you feel about them.

Questions you might want to ask respite care providers:

  • What training do the staff have? Does it include dementia care training? What experience do they have of working with people with dementia? 
  • Will there be a care plan to meet the needs of the person with dementia? 
  • How often do they assess the person and their needs? 
  • Are they able to meet any religious or cultural needs the person with dementia has? 
  • Do they keep notes, and can you see these? 
  • How are relatives and those close to the person supported?
  • How do they manage unexpected events, such as staff sickness? 
  • Are there any additional charges? 
  • Is there a trial period, and how long is it? 
  • What insurance is in place and what does it cover? 
  • What is their complaints process? 

If you’re choosing homecare, you may also want to ask: 

  • Will the person always have the same carers? 
  • Can the person change carers? 
  • Are their costs based on an hourly charge? 
  • Do they charge more for weekends, evenings/nights or bank holidays? 

It can be helpful to ask for examples of how they’ve met other people’s needs and what they would do in certain situations. This means that you can get a better understanding of how they cope with different situations.

Looking at respite care in a care home?

Our booklet Selecting and moving into a care home has information on what to think about and questions to ask.

Find out more

Giving information to respite care providers in Northern Ireland

As well as questions you may want to ask, It is important to give information about the person with dementia to anybody providing respite care. This can make it easier for the person to adjust to a change of environment or carer. It can also help anyone providing respite care to support the person and meet their needs. 

This information can be used to write a care plan with you and the person you care for. It will help everyone to know what care and support has been agreed and should be reviewed regularly. 

The information you provide to respite carers about the person with dementia will vary.

You might want to include: 

  • what the person with dementia likes and dislikes – this could range from food preferences to a favourite jumper 
  • details of their routine, such as what time they get up, what time they like to eat or any activities they enjoy doing throughout the day 
  • specific ways to support them if they become upset or distressed 
  • any medicines they need to take 
  • any sensory or physical difficulties they may have 
  • their dietary, religious and cultural needs 
  • names of family members, friends or people important to them 
  • their hobbies and interests 
  • if the person will be staying at home during the respite care period, details about the running of the home such as which key locks which door, how the washing machine works or which day the bins are collected
  • important phone numbers, such as the GP 
  • emergency contact details, for example for you or another family member or friend.