Palliative Care Respite

What is respite?
Respite is defined as a ‘temporary rest period’. Respite care means we provide regular or intermittent, temporary inpatient care, usually for one or two weeks at a time. This period of respite can benefit you and your carer(s) by providing a ‘break’. Patients being admitted for respite are expected to be medically stable and not to have acute symptom problems.

Who can be referred for respite admission?
Any patient receiving specialist Palliative Care in the community can be considered for respite admission. This means that if you are living at home and being visited by the community specialist Palliative Care team or attending the Day Hospice or outpatient services, you can ask about a respite admission. You cannot be admitted for respite directly after a stay in an acute hospital.

How does it work?
Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services offers respite admission for one or two weeks. The bed is booked in advance for you and guaranteed.  This means, for example, that your carer could make plans to go on holiday, safe in the knowledge that you will be cared for during this time.

  • The admission is organised in advance by your Palliative Care team. Together you agree a preferred date for the respite admission and availability is then checked with the admission office.
  • The bed may be offered to you on either site, Harold’s Cross or Blackrock.  It is this flexibility that allows us to be able to guarantee the bed.  You can request one site or the other, but it is not always possible to accommodate such requests.
  • Bookings can be made up to 3 months in advance. Decisions around the frequency of respite that can be offered to an individual will involve consideration of the needs of other patients. Patients cannot avail of more than 4 weeks respite in a twelve month period.
  • The admission and discharge dates, once agreed, cannot be changed; you must go home on (or before) the agreed date of discharge.
  • The bed is usually in a single room, with en-suite bathroom facilities, in the Palliative Care ward.
  • Admission is on a Saturday (Harold’s Cross) or Friday (Blackrock). Please arrive on the ward before lunchtime.
  • Discharge is on Friday (Harold’s Cross) or Thursday (Blackrock), so that the room can be made ready for the next respite admission the following day.

For more information about the Palliative Care wards, and what to expect click here.