Preparing for a respite care stay can bring a mix of emotions. There might be a sense of uncertainty, a dash of anxiety, and also an underlying feeling of looking forward to a change of environment. It’s similar to how we often feel when getting ready for a holiday. But here’s a reassurance: just like packing for a vacation, once you have everything sorted and stowed away, there’s a warm sense of readiness.
Consider this visit as your respite care short-term sanctuary – a space where you can rejuvenate while your regular carer gets a much-needed break. But it’s essential to understand that this arrangement is temporary – it doesn’t mean you are automatically going to be in Aged Care Residences (sometimes called Aged Care homes) permanently.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t move to a more permanent home in Aged Care services if you wish, just that this visit will have an end date, so you don’t need to bring everything with you.
So what do you need for a short-term respite care stay? The idea is to carry with you items that you’ll need, of course, but also items that help you to feel safe and secure.
Your packing list for a short-term respite stay
1. Clothing: Pack comfortable clothing for the duration of your stay. Think about carrying at least three sets of clothes, and if you’ll need your washing done during your stay, it would help to label your clothing with your name.
2. Personal items: Take all your regular toiletry items with you. The basics will be supplied but it can make you feel more at home to have your favourites on hand, such as toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, moisturiser, fragrance, etc.
3. Keepsakes: Bring along some photos or little mementoes to help keep you feeling connected to home and loved ones.
4. Leisure: Remember to pack books or magazines that you enjoy. A good read can be a wonderful companion.
5. Essential contacts: Keep a list of family and friends’ contact numbers on hand.
6. Devices: If you use a mobile phone, laptop, or tablet, pack them along with their chargers. They’ll keep you connected and entertained.
7. Medication: Ensure you have all your prescription medications, along with any prescriptions you might need. You should also bring a doctor’s letter detailing dosages and times, so your medicines can be administered correctly.
8. Mobility devices: If you use any specific mobility equipment, like a wheelie walker or walking stick, bring it with you. Remember to label or engrave items like glasses, dentures, and hearing aids.
9. Money or a credit/debit card: It’s a good idea to carry a modest amount of money with you for any expenses that might pop up like a visit to the hairdressing salon or an outing.
10. Linen: Linen and bedding will be provided but if you have a personal preference or favourite, it can help you to feel at home to snuggle up with your own sheets or blankets.
Click the button below to download a printable version of this list, to help you to pack when the time comes.
Embracing a respite stay in an Aged Care Residence is all about ensuring you have both your essentials and your comforts. As you pack, think of it as preparing for a refreshing getaway. But don’t worry if you forget something. You can always ask staff to help you with anything you need.