Respite care means taking a break from caring, while the person you care for is looked after by someone else.
It lets you take time out to look after yourself and helps stop you becoming exhausted and run down.
There are lots of respite care options. They range from getting a volunteer to sit with the person you look after for a few hours, to a short stay in a care home so you can go on holiday.
The person you look after could go to a day care centre. Or, a paid carer could visit them at their home to look after them.
To qualify for council-funded day care centre visits, the person you look after will need to have had a needs assessment.
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Different types of respite care
The main types of respite care are:
- day care centres
- homecare from a paid carer
- a short stay in a care home
- getting friends and family to help
- respite holidays
- sitting services
Day care centres
Day care centres offer a chance for people who find it difficult to get out and about to socialise, make friends and take part in activities.
Homecare from a paid carer
If you care for someone and need more time for yourself, you can arrange for a paid carer to help at their home. This is also called homecare.
A short stay in a care home
Some care homes offer short-term respite care. It can be difficult to get respite space at short notice, but some care homes take advance bookings which can help you to plan ahead, for example if you want to book a holiday.
Getting friends and family to help
Friends and family might temporarily move into the house of the person you care for. Or, they could invite the person you care for to stay with them for a while.
Respite holidays allow carers and people with illnesses or disabilities, to take a break from everyday life.
Some charities and carers' organisations offer sitting services where a trained volunteer keeps the person you care for company for a while, usually a few hours at a time.
Paying for respite care
There are 2 main ways of getting help with the costs of respite care:
- from Plymouth City Council
- from a charity
Or, you can pay for it yourself.
From the council
If you or the person you care for qualifies for respite care, the council will do a financial assessment to work out if it will pay towards it.
From a charity
The Carers Trust offers some grants to carers who need respite.
The charity, Turn2Us, can help to find grants for people who need respite care but can't afford it.
For more information about respite care please call 01752 668000.