In this guide, we take a look at what respite for dementia carers is, the replacement care options available to you, useful resources to find out more, and how to arrange respite care for the person you care for.
- What is Respite Care?
- Respite Care Options
- When Might Someone Need Replacement Care?
- Where to Find Respite Care in the UK
- How to Arrange Respite Care
What Is Respite Care?
Respite care simply means taking a break from your role as a carer – the person you care for is, instead, looked after by someone else while you are away. You don’t have to be going away for respite care, either; sometimes, we all just need a break.
Respite Care Options
There are a number of options available to you when looking for respite care. These could include:
- A volunteer coming to sit with the person you care for, even just for a few hours
- Arranging for a professional care assistant to take on your role as a carer for a few days
- A short stay in a care home
- A day-care centre
Why Might Someone Need Respite Care?
Being a carer is hard. We all need a break sometimes – even if that’s just a bit of time to yourself to run some errands and look after your own wellbeing.
Respite care comes into play in many different ways. You could be going on holiday and need to have support in place for the days that you are away. You might need a day to get your weekly errands done, such as shopping, sorting bills, cleaning etc. Or, you might just want to take a few hours to go and get a haircut, maybe do some exercise, and look after yourself.
Most importantly, it’s important to know that there are respite care services available to you for any reason and any length of time. If you don’t have any other family members or friends to help share the role as carer with you from time to time, using a local service can be a great option to avoid getting run down and burnt out.
Where To Find Respite Care In The UK
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best resources providing a full breakdown of what respite is, how to get it, and who you need to contact to arrange care cover.
NHS Social Care and Support Guide
This guide provides a full breakdown on what you need to do to get respite care, the different types of care available, and your options for getting help with the costs.
Alzheimer’s Society Replacement Care Guide
Alzheimer’s Society has a detailed guide on replacement care (as well as separate guides for respite care in Wales and Northern Ireland).
They also have a helpful guide fully covering how replacement care can be funded.
How to Arrange Respite Care
Respite care may be offered following an assessment of the person with dementia, or following a carer’s assessment that may establish your own needs. Joint assessments are ideal because then your individual circumstances can be established together, ensuring everyone involved gets the best support available.
Your local authority will be in charge of providing information on what respite care may be available to you nearby. You could also contact your GP and ask to be referred to the relevant team that will support you in arranging replacement care.