A CHARITY is eager for more staff to provide respite for carers.

Cross Roads Caring for Carers Worcestershire aims to look after carers as well as those being cared for. For example, someone's grandfather might have caring responsibilities for their wife who is very frail and has dementia, but he is elderly as well.

Helen Simmons, manager said: “We need to look after your grandfather as much as your grandmother because if anything happens to him, he gets too tired, he can’t cope, that leaves your grandmother vulnerable and she is going to suffer as well. We need to keep those two people living together in their own home. If the grandfather has to help the grandmother out of bed and he hurts his back, the grandmother will have to go into respite care to let him recover. Sometimes they never come back home because the carer cannot cope. Our aim is to keep people together as-long-as we can in their own home.”

‘Bed blocking’ sometimes occurs in hospitals when organisations like Cross Roads haven’t got enough staff to provide care in people's homes, so patients can come out of hospital, therefore hospitals end up with people staying on the wards longer than necessary.

Caring staff will take over caring for someone if their relative has, for example, been up all night looking after them. The person with caring responsibilities can then take the opportunity to get some sleep, go to the shops, visit a friend or do whatever they need to do.

Staff receive face to face training including how to use hoists and other equipment. The staff always get to meet the person they will be looking after before they start working “so they are confident, and the person is familiar with you.”

Ms Simmons said: “There has got to be that bond between you, to make them feel comfortable.”

Ms Simmons said: “It makes you feel good. You are going in and helping people and you come away thinking, ‘I have made that person happy.’”

To find out more telephone 01905 729293 or visit homecareworcestershire.org.uk