Short breaks

Page updated on: 15/12/2022

Most people who need help to maintain their independence are best cared for by the people they know – their family and friends. These carers can sometimes find it difficult to cope with caring for someone every day without a break.

Short breaks often called ‘respite care’ is there to help carers, and the person they care for, to take a break. A break can be for a few hours, a few days or longer if needed. 

A break away from the normal routine can make a big difference. Sometimes there may be a reason why you need to take a break from caring, such as hospital treatment, a holiday, other caring responsibilities or simply to recharge your batteries.  

There are many different ways that breaks may be provided. These are some examples:

People who require a high level of care and supervision can have short breaks in a residential or nursing care home if a bed is available to meet appropriate needs.

These are short breaks provided by people who are paid, and professionally regulated, to provide short-term support in their own homes. This is sometimes referred to as Shared Lives.

This is support provided within the home where you live. Flexible and tailor-made packages of support can be arranged whilst your carer(s) is away.

If you are eligible for funding support from the Local Authority, instead of having a service arranged for you, you can choose to receive money in the form of a Direct Payment. This enables you to make more flexible arrangements for your short break that may suit your circumstances better.

These include opportunities for people and carers to plan and arrange their own holidays, with information and/or support to arrange assistance with meeting any care needs they might have whilst away from home.

Local authority and/or health funding may be available for all or part of this support, depending upon individual circumstances. Before funding can be agreed the person being cared for would have to have an assessment of their care needs from Social Care Services.

Help in Crisis is a free service to help carers deal with emergencies. It doesn’t provide long-term care, but it does provide immediate help while other care arrangements are made. You may be able to use the service if as a carer you:

  • need to be confined to bed at home or admitted to hospital because of an accident or illness.
  • are in a state of exhaustion and need immediate rest and sleep.
  • are in an emotional or physical state of distress and immediate relief is vital to your mental or physical well-being, or vital to the safety of the person you care for
  • are needed in a family crisis.

Telephone Delta Wellbeing on 0300 333 2222 to request this service.

Request an assessment