Breaks from caring

In light of the current COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) crisis, access to carers breaks has had to be changed to accommodate current social distancing and additional infection control measures being in place.  View the short breaks fact sheet [PDF] for more information.

A planned short break is a break from the routine of caring. It is planned in advance and is not the result of an emergency or crisis.

Some examples of services that provide a short break are:

  • residential and nursing homes
  • dedicated short break units (e.g. run by the Council)
  • the Shared Lives short break scheme
  • sitting’ services provided by Home Care agencies

More creative arrangements are possible as well, for example:

  • a carer might take the person they care for away on holiday, and use County Council funding to pay towards support costs of the service user in the holiday location (excluding accommodation and food costs which remain the responsibility of the service user)
  • the service user’s usual Personal Assistant (PA) might be paid to look after the person at home.

To access short breaks, the person who is being cared for needs to have a care and support assessment from the County Council. The person who is their unpaid carer needs to have a carer’s assessment. These assessments are used to decide if you are eligible for short breaks and what support will be provided. You may also be eligible for a NHS Personal Health Budget to pay for a short break from caring.

To find out more, read our factsheet about short breaks [PDF], our Easy Read Factsheet [PDF] or contact us:

If you are looking for information because of an unforeseen emergency that means you are unexpectedly unable to provide care, see our information about Caring Emergencies.

Shared Lives

Our shared lives scheme can also help and provide a carer with breaks.

The person you care for can be supported by someone else and their family; this would provide you with breaks and some time for yourself.

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