Breaks and respite

Breaks and respite

It's important to get a break from your caring responsibilties.

Most carers need a break from caring from time to time. This may be for a few hours, or a day or a week or two.

There are many kinds of short break. You may have someone coming into your home from a care agency to take over the caring while you go out, rest or catch up with a hobby. Or the person you look after may go to a day centre or be taken out.

Action for Carers’ Carer Support Advisors can help you apply for funding from local or national grant schemes for a break. Please get in touch to find out more.

Call us on 0303 040 1234 or email [email protected]. You can also text us (SMS) on 07723 486730.

Help from Surrey County Council

You are entitled to a Carer’s Assessment in your own right as a carer – regardless of whether the person you care for has had an assessment. Support may be offered directly to you by signposting to other services or by way of a Carer Direct Payment. Breaks for you may also form part of any care package drawn up for the person with care needs and in this case would be included in the financial assessment undertaken at that time.

Find out more from Surrey County Council’s website

Find out more about Carer’s Assessments

The GP Carer’s Break scheme

In Surrey there is something called the GP Carer’s Break scheme. This allows GPs in most of Surrey’s surgeries to prescribe carers a break worth up to £300, based on a clinical assessment of your health. This is part of the Carer’s Prescription, so talk to your GP. This is a one-off grant.

The money can be used to purchase alternative care to allow you to have a break or to pay for goods or services that will help you to relax and improve your health and well-being.

If your GP agrees that you would benefit from a break, they will apply for the grant on your behalf and soon after you will be contacted by Surrey Independent Living Council, who administer the grant, to discuss your needs.

Full information in Surrey Welfare Rights’ booklet Welfare Benefits for Carers in Surrey.

A longer break

If you are going away for longer, you and the person you care for may wish to look at nursing or residential homes. It may be the case that they wish to stay in their own home with or without support while you are away. Another option is an assisted holiday which provides help with the physical care while you and the person you care for are on holiday.      

For more information, phone the Surrey County Council Adult Social Care helpline on 0300 200 1005 to ask for information on short break providers. More on their website.

Specialist providers

There are a number of voluntary organisations providing services as well as a whole range of private providers. Call us and we’ll point you in the right direction.

Crossroads Care Surrey is a charity specialising in offering carers replacement care from trained staff, in order to give you a break, including support if you are looking after someone at the end of their life. They aim to offer a range of care for long or short periods (from 2 hours upwards) at an affordable cost, regularly or as a one-off and offer a limited amount of funded care for those who qualify.

  • They also run a variety of social clubs for adults with disabilities (including dementia), allowing carers to have a break and the person they care for to enjoy themselves in a safe and welcoming setting.

For more information, visit Crossroads Care Surrey. To arrange an assessment call them on 01372 869970 or email [email protected]

For short or long-term residential care, see the providers list on the Care Choices website.

Charities offering holidays to unpaid carers

After Umbrage is a charity that provides free, short breaks for carers looking after loved ones with life-limiting conditions. More info on their website.

Register with us

Register for free to get some advice and support on how to look after yourself in your caring role.

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