Short Breaks

Page updated on: 21/02/2024

Do you rely on a family member or friend to look after you and help you with aspects of day to day living?

Perhaps you are someone who cares for and supports a friend or relative to help them live at home?

Many older and disabled people in Carmarthenshire rely on the support of families and carers to enable them to remain living in their own homes or with family members.

These supporting, caring relationships are very important, but can sometimes put a strain on the strongest relationships.

Caring for someone can impact health and wellbeing considerably.  Breaks are vital to provide valuable time and space. You may want consider a short break.


The term ‘short break’ has a specific meaning, which is not the same as a ‘holiday’. Short breaks used to be known as ‘respite care’ and you will still sometimes hear this term.

A short break:

  • is a break from the normal routine
  • can be either time apart or time together with the person you care for with extra support
  • can be provided in a variety of places
  • can be provided on a planned basis or as a one-off or in an emergency
  • should offer an opportunity and experience tailored to meet individual needs

The types of breaks which are available are:

1.  Replacement Care
This is a Short Term Service which is called ‘Prevent – Respond – React’ . This is service:
  • Identifies carers who are in or at risk of crisis and a breakdown in their caring role.
  • Provide carers with information about their rights and how and where they can access support via Adferiad /Carmarthenshire Carers Information Service.
  • Offer flexible interim short term replacement care / respite to enable individuals to have a break from their caring role and to support a life alongside caring.
  • Offers support to the carer at the earliest opportunity including the caring role and refer onto the Community Preventative Service if needed.
2.  Short breaks in residential and nursing care homes
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.
3.  Short breaks in the home of another individual or family
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.
4.  Short breaks at home
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.
5.  Supported holiday breaks
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.
Where a planned break is provided for a person by an approved carer. 
7.  Help in Crisis for Carers
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.

There are various options available to you if you wish to have a break:

  • you can arrange and pay for your own short break
  • you can access funding from a fund or charity
  • you can get help from Social Care Services

You can arrange your own short break, there are a number of organisations that can advise you, such as Adferiad, Connect Carmarthenshire, Crossroads Carers Trust, Carers Wales.

You could also contact Delta Wellbeing for Information, Advice and Assistance on 0300 333 2222 or email (available 24hrs, 7 days a week).


You can get help from Social Care Services help if:

  • The person you care for/being cared for has eligible needs.  This means that the person will need to have an assessment of their care and support needs or, if they are already receiving services from social care they will need to have a review of their care and support needs.


  • The person who cares for them has a Carer’s Assessment and has a need for a short break. Carers are entitled to have their support needs assessed even if the person they care for isn’t known to Social Care Services. However, should a short break be identified as a need then the person being cared for will need to be assessed so that their needs can be established and appropriately planned for.

To request an assessment please contact Delta Wellbeing our Information, Advice and Assistance Service on 0300 333 2222 or by completing an online assessment.

Following an assessment you may be eligible for funding support. In all cases the person who receives the respite i.e. the person with care and support needs, may have to pay something towards the cost of the short break. 

Instead of having a service arranged for you, you can choose to receive money so that you can make your own arrangements. This is called a Direct Payment and it enables you to have more flexibility and choice for your short break that may suit your circumstances better. 

Even if you are not eligible we will support and advise you and the person you care for about suitable breaks and help to arrange your break. 

Request an assessment