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Does respite care help?


Registered User
Dec 16, 2005
I was recently browsing some research papers and came across an interesting review of the literature on respite care. This was a Cochrane Review paper that you can read a summary at:

The authors concluded that: Current evidence does not demonstrate any benefits or adverse effects from the use of respite care for people with dementia or their caregivers. These results should be treated with caution, however, as they may reflect the lack of high quality research in this area rather than an actual lack of benefit.

I was wondering what people thought about this. Do you use respite care and do you think it helps you? Strangely, respite care seems to be one of the first things Health and Social Services seem to think of when intervening. If it doesn't help, what kind of support does?

Kind regards

P.S. For those of you who may not know, the Cochrane Collaboration is an international, non-profit organisation that produces and disseminates systematic reviews of evidence-based healthcare. A list of the updated reviews for the Cochrane dementia and cognitive improvement group is at:


Registered User
Sep 16, 2003
evidence of support to carers..

Hello Kevin

Just in response to your message,I believe there has been some research done to show that educational initiatives to carers and family members has been shown to lessen carers stress and reduce admission to care homes.I think if you look up the work of Mittleman(1996),Gresham(1989) and Brodaty (1997) it may be helpful?



Registered User
Jan 20, 2006

My mother who has AD lives with us and I am her main carer. I work and have young children so have to spread myself thinly sometimes. We had not had a holiday together as a family for 5 years so last summer, with some trepidation I arranged for mum to go into a care home for a weeks care. It was very successfull
mum was well looked after and we had a lovely holiday. I will certainly do it again as it benefitted the whole family.


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Barny, welcome to TP.
Respite : does it work. It certainly can, and has done so for me with Lionel for the past 3 years.
However, no two people are alike, so results can vary. I have known carers who have felt so guilty at using respite that it has been no help at all. Equally some of our loved ones have not responded very well to same, and so has an adverse effect.

You just have to try things out for your own circumstances. Connie