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Breaks for carers

Find out how to take a break from caring, including arranging replacement care.
Older woman with daughter

Being a carer can be emotionally and physically tiring. Many carers don't think enough about their wellbeing and may suffer from stress as a result.

Taking a break from caring is essential, even if it's only for a few hours.

A break might be just an hour or so to visit a friend, or it might be for a longer period such as a weekend away or a planned holiday. It may be a break with the person you care for, away from your usual environment.

How to spend your break

There are many ways you can take a break from caring, from a few hours to a few days, alone or with others. Only you will know what is best for you.

Some examples of breaks could include:

  • sitting in your garden or reading a book
  • going to the gym or going shopping for a day or afternoon
  • visiting friends or family overnight or for a weekend
  • taking part in group activities for carers.

There are many support organisations in Suffolk which provide activities or can organise breaks away for carers.

You can search for these services on our Suffolk InfoLink website.

Visit Suffolk Family Carers for support and advice for carers.

Help from your friends or family

Many carers find that a friend or family member may be able to provide care or support for a few hours or more, so that they can take a break.

If you have no one who can do this, you may still be able to take a break in other ways.

Arranging care and support yourself

There are many options you can use should you need to take a break from caring. The type of option you consider may depend on the length of the break, and any replacement care or support that the person you care for will require in your absence.

In addition, to receiving help from friends or family, options for arranging short-term breaks include:

  • arranging for a home care agency to support the person you care for and keep them company
  • organising for the person you care for to attend a day centre, activity group or club. This is usually during the day but can take place in the evening
  • arranging for a personal assistant to support the person you care for.

Arranging a longer-term break:

If the person you care for requires care and support overnight, and you are planning to stay away for one or more nights, you may wish to consider the following options:

  • arranging live-in care from a home care agency to provide care 24 hours a day in the person’s own home (the live-in carer will require a separate bedroom within the property)
  • arranging for a short-term placement in a care home should you need a longer break. This is sometimes referred to as “respite” care.

Paying for Replacement Care

Any costs for replacement care (e.g. supervision / sitting services, home care, residential care) would be charged to the individual receiving that care, and will be financially assessed.

You can find out more on our paying for care page.

Find out if you can get more support by reading about:

Additional support with paying for replacement care

There is further information on Suffolk Family Carers Replacement Care web page on other ways which you might be able to get replacement care including:

Respite on Prescription - can provide replacement care whilst you are in hospital having a planned procedure or diagnostic appointment which you might otherwise delay due to your caring responsibilities.

Neurological Care Break Scheme – can assist planned replacement care to carers of people over 18 with diagnosed neurological conditions.

Programmes and Workshops – many organisations provide funding for replacement care to enable you to take part in programmes and workshops to help with your caring role.

Arranging Care and Support

It may also be helpful for the person you care for to have their own care and support assessment to help identify any needs they have, and possible options to meet these and help the person to be able to live as independently as possible. Options may include: