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Respite care for adults
Respite care is a term for regular periods of alternative care that is provided on a short-term basis so that carers can have a break from caring. It is our aim that respite care should be a positive experience for both the carer and the cared for person.
Some people prefer to use the term "short breaks" rather than "respite". However, "short breaks" usually refers to shorter periods of care for a few hours or a couple of days, whereas the term "respite" usually means more sustained periods of alternative care.
What kinds of respite care are available?
Respite care and short breaks can take various forms and it is our aim to provide a range of services to meet different needs and preferences.
Respite care can be:
Receiving respite care services from social care services
Respite care is available through social care services to those people meeting our eligibility criteria. To access this, you and the person you care for will need to have a carer assessment. The assessment will take your needs as a carer into account as well as the wishes of the person you care for.
It is still worth having a carer assessment even if you think that you would not benefit from a respite service. The assessment could result in you or the person you care for receiving different types of support. You may have separate assessments if you wish.
The amount of respite available will depend on your individual assessment, but it is important to note that resources are limited. In an assessment of the carer we try to establish: what the impact of the caring role is on the carer as an individual; on their health; their ability to see friends and have a life of their own; and their need to maintain employment or training.
Independent respite support through carers' centres
Some voluntary sector organisations provide services such as sitting services, which can give you a welcome break. Your local carers' centre will be able to provide more information about respite care.
Charges for respite care or short breaks
You may be charged for respite services but this will depend on the support provided and where relevant, an assessment of your financial circumstances. Please see the respite charges page for more information.
Respite breaks and holidays
You may want to pay for a longer break away for yourself and the person you care for. See the links below for information on accessible holiday opportunities.
Grants may be available through national charities to enable some people to have a break. Contact your local carers' centre for more information.
Carers - information and resources
Respite care for adults - frequently asked questions