Getting a break from caring
Caring for someone can be tiring so it is important that you get a break when you need it. You may want a short break of an hour or two, a whole day or longer. There are lots of ways that you could get a break; there is no right and wrong way as it depends on what is best for you and the person you care for.
It can be difficult to take a break from caring for your loved one, but it is important to remember that you have needs to. By taking a break you can maintain your wellbeing and recharge which will be better for both you and your loved one. Getting a break as a carer is also often known as respite care.
- Carers UK have a useful factsheet about taking a break which may help.
- Carers Trust have useful information about respite breaks
A good place to start when thinking about getting a break is to make sure you have an up to date Carers Assessment. This will give you the chance to talk through different options with the assessor and see what you may be entitled to, as well as what is available for you. Sometimes if you meet eligibility, you might be given short breaks through the council. You can find out more on our Carers Assessment page
There are many local charities and groups who run activities such as lunch clubs, hobby groups or support services which your loved one may enjoy attending which will give you a short break from caring for them. Have a look at our Local Support and Information page for a few ideas of where to find out local information.
You could also get somebody to come to your home to support your loved one whilst you go out. It may be that they are eligible for this support through the council or you could buy support privately from a local care organisation. Choosing the right organisation is important to give you peace of mind.
- Carers Trust have some useful information for if you are thinking about getting paid help at home.
Day services can be a good way for you to get a slightly longer break from your caring role. There are several day care services in Bexley which are usually accessed via the Council although some may offer a paid for service that you can arrange privately with them.
You could also access services offered by local charities such as Carers Support, who offer a free respite service to carers, or Crossroads Care South East London, who offer paid carers to provide respite.
- Have a look at our Local Support and Information page for a few ideas of where to find out local information.
The council have respite services for people with eligible needs where they can go for up to a week, giving you a longer break. You will need to make sure that you have a Carers Assessment and meet the eligibility criteria for accessing these.
Your loved one may also be eligible for a respite or activity holiday which are often run by charities. For example, Revitalise offer supported holidays which you as a carer can attend too if you wish, although they also provide full care.
Paying for respite
If you, or your loved one, meet eligibility criteria during an assessment then the council may fund your respite breaks or your loved ones activities. You are also able to take a Direct Payment for respite which gives you more flexibility and choice on how you organise your respite.
It could also be that you choose to pay privately for respite, perhaps using your benefits to help with the additional cost. You could also look at the Grants section of our Money and Benefits page to see whether you or your loved one may qualify for a grant towards the cost of a break.