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FAQs on Respite Care

How can I find out about respite care?

There are a number of ways that you can take a break from your caring role.  Respite care can be provided through:

Residential respite – the person you care for is looked after by someone else for a while, either in residential or nursing care, or on holiday.

Domicillary care – someone comes into your home and takes over care for a while (for a few hours or sometimes overnight) so you can go out or have some time to yourself.

Day care – where the person you are looking after goes to a day centre or takes part in activities away from the home allowing you a break from caring.

Holidays - there are a number of organisations that provide opportunities for children with special needs or people with disabilities to go on holiday with the appropriate support provided.

Direct Payments – the local authority works out what services they think you may need following a community care assessment and instead of arranging the services directly, give you (or the person you care for) the money to buy the service directly from an appropriate agency or person. A direct payment can be used to pay for alternative care whilst the carer takes a break.

Vouchers – some local authorities provide vouchers which can be exchanged for services such as those offered by care agencies, or residential homes.

Other organisations providing respite care

Some voluntary organisations also provide respite services. Crossroads Care is a charity which has a network of local schemes providing respite in the home, using trained staff. Many Crossroads schemes do not charge although there is often a waiting list for their services.

A small number of the Carers' Centres that work in partnership with The Princess Royal Trust for Carers directly provide respite care. If they do not provide this service they can give you information and support about what is available locally.


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