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Respite for carers

Caring for a loved one is physically and emotionally exhausting. So it is essential to plan for much needed respite. Jessica Tomlin gives helpful advice.

Carers need to have breaks

Respite schemes

If you are caring for a loved one it is essential to get respite.

This can be in the form of regular breaks to see friends and family, to go on holiday or just to have some time to relax in a different setting, away from where you are caring.

You can only get respite if someone else takes over the role of carer for an agreed period.

Information on respite schemes

Your local council website is likely to have information about respite care. If not, talk to social services about your respite needs.

Usually, a social worker will visit to make an assessment of your needs and situation in order to determine how much respite care (funded by social services) you are entitled to and what type of respite would suit you and the person you are caring for.

After carrying out an assessment of your needs, the social services will usually offer you a certain number of proposed hours per month of state-funded respite.

If you and/or your family are willing to fund the respite, you should contact independent respite services directly.

Support for carers

There are also a number of national respite charities, which provide breaks and support for carers.

CarersUK is the nationwide charity that supports carers and lobbies for a better deal.

Vitalise is a national charity that provides short breaks, respite and other services to disabled people, visually impaired people and their carers.

Vitalise have several centres across the UK where disabled people and their carers can go for a short break, whilst enjoying access to a range of activities and support from trained staff.

They also offer other services, including day care services, homecare services, and other activities.

Crossroads provides respite across to carers of elderly and/or disabled people across the UK.

Respite carers can provide care in your own home or in theirs, depending on your circumstances.

There are other charities that provide respite and/or help paying for it for carers of people with specific conditions.

A list of respite care providers can be obtained by visiting the website of the United Kingdom Home Care Association (UKHCA).

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