We attended the ‘’Creating meaningful and effective shorts breaks through direct payments’’ event at Cardiff Metropolitan University last Thursday. It was an interesting event with many in attendance. The event was put together by The Wales School for Social Care Research, Carers Wales, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Disability Wales.
Some highlights and useful information follows;
The Wales School for Social Care Research, Cardiff Metropolitan University and The Centre for Ageing and Dementia are keen to explore and take forward research and practice development opportunities on the subject of meaningful short breaks to support interdependent caring relationships. It is based on a similar interest in Scotland, particularly within ‘Shared Care Scotland’
www.sharedcarescotland.org.uk is a very useful and comprehensive resource
‘’Taking a break means a carer and the person they care for being supported to have a break from their normal routine and the often stressful demands of their caring situation. People without a carer can also benefit from a break from their home circumstances.
Short breaks are an essential part of the overall support that families and carers need to help them care for a family member, partner or friend. Short breaks should deliver positive outcomes for both the carer and the person with care needs. Outcomes might include:
- A break from day-to-day routines
- A chance to experience new things
- Time to rest and recharge the batteries
- Opportunities to meet new people and maintain friendships
- Time for personal interests, leisure or cultural activities
- Improved health and well being
- Greater independence
Short Breaks – Research and Practice Development
Recent legislation emphasises the importance of developing alternative, more innovative ways to meet needs, with particular focus on supporting the well-being of carers and the people they support. This includes the provision of what is traditionally called ‘respite care’ There is no agreed definition of ‘respite care’. In Scotland, the term, ‘short breaks’ has been promoted in preference to the term ‘respite’ as it has more positive and inclusive ring, as the idea of shorts breaks is common to everyone and associated with pleasurable things like holidays.
In Wales academics and practitioners are keen to take forward research ideas on this topic. This includes the use of new social enterprise services and delivery models and piloting innovative ways to deliver carer short breaks , taking into account the complex, dynamic and interdependent nature of caring relationships.
One size doesn’t fit all
Services that provide breaks from caring can take many forms. Traditionally ‘respite care’ has meant a break in a care home or nursing home, or some other building based service. This type of break may be suitable for some but people want more choices about how, where and when the break is provided. Families or couples may want to have a break together with some extra support, or they may choose to have some time apart. Breaks will vary from a few hours to a few weeks and may be arranged on a regular planned basis, as a holiday or to deal with an unexpected emergency.
“What’s important is that people should be given choices so that they can have a break that meets their needs and circumstances. A break that people enjoy and find stimulating helps everyone to feel comfortable and enjoy the experience.
They should be good for both a person with a disability, long term illness or need and for their carer (where they have one). Short breaks should support their relationship. They should offer opportunities and experiences tailored to meet individual needs in a variety of settings.”
Holidays matter is a movement committed to ensuring that everyone can benefit from a break away from home, defines social tourism as tourism ‘’that seeks to help vulnerable or disadvantaged groups who normally wouldn’t be able to benefit from tourism opportunities’’
You can read more about Holidays Matter and find a lot more information on their website www.holidaysmatter.org.uk
‘’We believe that Holidays Matter. They broaden horizons, provide a break from everyday stresses and strains and create memories that last a lifetime. Holidays make people happier, communities stronger, and society more prosperous. Today in Britain seven million people cannot find the money for an annual holiday1 and still more miss out because the challenges of daily life are too great.’’
Speakers and other useful resources
Some of the speakers at the event included the following;
Jeff Brattan-Wilson from disability Wales told us about Citizen Directed Co-operatives Cymru CDCC http://www.disabilitywales.org/projects/current-projects/citizen-directed-co-operative-cymru-project/
Menna Jones from Antur Wanfawr told us about their social enterprise, plans for building a fully accessible holiday home and how they provide employment and training opportunities for people with learning disabilities in their own community. http://www.anturwaunfawr.org/en/about-us/
Gwesty Seren introduced their hotel and social enterprise. Seren Ffestiniog cyf was created to support people with learning disabilities and at the same time provide a service for the community. They have created a number of diverse employment openings for vulnerable adults and it is the work started by these adults that has shaped their current company structure of providing employment and training opportunities that exist to benefit other people and in-need groups living in their community.
Zoe Williams from Torfaen County Borough Council told us about her work with the Local Authority and her role representing the LA on the All Wales Direct Payments Forum. Zoe also told us about Direct Payments legislation, codes of practice and the Social Services and Wellbeing Wales Act (We will share this information as part of another post on our website)
Shelley Welton from Monmouthsire County Council talked to us about some of the amazing things they are doing in their county with particular focus on learning disability services. They included ‘My Day My Life’, ‘My Mates’, ‘My Holiday My Choice and ‘Shared Lives’. (We will share more information as part of another post on our website)
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