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The Respite Care Flat

Publication Date: December 2, 2022
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This room saved my life – not only Agnieszka’s”- confessed Katarzyna Koszelnik in the conversation, which you can listen to by playing our audio. Agnieszka was born with Prader-Willi syndrome – a rare genetic disorder evoking, among others, perpetual hunger and behavioural disorders. Katarzyna has taken custody of her older sister after the death of their parents.

Katarzyna and Agnieszka are one of the families that regularly profit from the facilities offered by Wrocław’s Respite Care Flat. Providing the carers/ families of people with disabilities a break from daily care for a relative by taking temporary custody in a specially adapted room/flat is one form of short break services.

Foundation „Potrafię Pomóc” renovated and equipped its respite care flat on the cusp of 2018 and 2019; in the middle of 2019, the first guest crossed the doorstep of the flat. It was Mr Sebastian, the bedbound person. His sister told us about her experiences:

Sebastian was provided with specialist and comprehensive care. Thanks to it, I could, for the first time, go with my mother and daughters on vacations. For us, it was a time of happiness and peace, and it was not broken by any troubles connected with taking care of Sebastian. All staff was wonderful and lovable. My brother was on a "walk" for the first time in decades. The ladies from the respite care could spend time with him outside as they have at their disposal the appropriate equipment for that (wheelchair). We are sincerely grateful for this help and heart from all the ladies.

This is what distinguishes this institute from others in Poland, Europe and even the world. Wrocław’s Respite Care Flat guarantees a week or two weeks stay and specialist care for people with disabilities, including bedbound people, severely disabled, demanding enteral feeding or assisted breathing. Our institution offers help for, among others, families of people whose disability is so severe that no other forms of respite care may be available for them. That is why the relatives/carers need so much break for respite: relaxation but also doctor appointments. Often, these people are extremely exhausted and burned out.

The Respite Care Flat of Foundation „Potrafię Pomóc” is equipped with advanced technology for the transportation of disabled people (Polly system), a specialist bed, and a nurse call system. The bathroom is adjusted to the needs of a person with a disability, including a shower bed inside. We also have an accessible lift that helps people with mobility impairment to get to the entry doors of the respite care flat.

The project „Respite Care in Wrocław Commune,” co-funded by Wroclaw Commune, involves the citizens of Wrocław and is free of charge for them. Short break services are directed to the members of families or carers who are in the custody of a disabled person with a certificate of disability or a person who needs support in daily functioning because of difficulties with handling basic daily activities due to their health state. As a part of the project, we offer, as well, psychological support in the form of support groups for families/carers. Every year around 50 people and their families use the services provided by Respite Care Flat of Foundation „Potrafię Pomóc.”

We will tell you more about this form of Respite Care during the conference in 2023 hosted in Wrocław.

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