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Taking a Break from Caring

Being a carer can be hard work and you might need to take a break sometimes. It may not always be easy to do so, but time away from your caring role is important for your own health and wellbeing.

Respite is a short break, anything from a couple of hours to several weeks, away from caring to give you time to recharge your batteries. You may find that it helps you to feel better able to cope with caring.

Different types of breaks for carers

Respite can mean different things to different carers, it could mean:

Support workers (care workers) or personal assistants helping with care at home.

This is sometimes called replacement care. Or you might want to get more help with other tasks around the home, such as cleaning. It could also mean the person you care for having a short stay in a care home (or nursing home).

You should make sure you ask for a carer’s assessment as it looks at the support you need – this could include regular respite and carer breaks. Get in touch with Carer Support Wiltshire if you haven’t had an assessment yet.

If you want to buy care at home, from a support worker or personal assistant, see the Carers Trust webpage on buying care guide for practical advice and guidance.

Getting someone to keep the person you care for company whilst you go out.

Try talking to your family and friends about taking a short break from caring. They may be able to help but they may not be sure how best to help you.

“CSW have been fantastic. They were able to help me access the support I needed so that someone could come and sit with mum for three hours a week. It gives me space and time for myself.”

Doing something you enjoy.

Time for Carers Breaks: Thanks to the generosity of the people of Wiltshire our Time for Carers Appeal reached its £25,000 target. It means we are able to award small grants to those who are most need, to enable them to have a break and enjoy something that is important to them. Talk to us at CSW to find out more.

Complementary therapies can help you relax and provide a bit of time just for you. Once you are registered with us we offer carers up to three therapy sessions in a 12 month period including aromatherapy massage, manicures, facials and reflexology. Contact us to find out more.

You, or the person you care for, taking part in activities outside the home.

Our carer cafes, hobby groups and days out provide opportunities for you to enjoy great company and activities, including cream teas, cookery classes and museum outings. Once you are registered with us we will send you our What’s On Guide with details. Our monthly Carers News e-newsletter is a great resource for information on activities and events here in Wiltshire. Register here

Carers Cafes

Enjoy great company and a cuppa or two at one of our carers cafes. They take place in venues throughout the county and you are welcome to stay for as little or as long as you are able to. Try one and see for yourself.

Taking a holiday with or without the person you care for.

You can find organisations that might be able to help on this article on the Carers Trust website.

“Things are not always easy, but going to things like the Creative Carers groups has been a real tonic. I go there after a few difficult days and it’s lovely. Everyone is in the same position and we talk and laugh and I come out thinking that things are not so bad.” Sue

Read the Taking a Break guide from Carers UK – link to PDF from Carers UK

For more information on activities in your area register for our Carers News e-newsletter or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.