Facilitating older service users' requirements for access to or re-engagement in social networks following hospital discharge is recognised in social care analysis and policy as critically important. This is because of the associated benefits for restoring physical health and psychological well-being. However, it tends to be a neglected dimension of current social care/intermediate care. Our paper draws on a qualitative study of voluntary sector hospital aftercare social rehabilitation projects in five UK localities, which focused on addressing this issue.
Objectives: To review the evidence for different models of community-based respite care for frail older people and their carers, where the participant group included older people with frailty, disability, cancer or dementia. Where data permitted, subgroups of carers and care recipients, for whom respite care is particularly effective or cost-effective, were to be identified.