There are a number of options available to support unpaid carers and allow them some ‘time off’ as follows:
• Replacement care: this replaces the care that a carer would normally provide. This can be arranged by requesting a ‘break assessment’ alongside the person being cared for being assessed.
• Respite care: after a ‘carers assessment’ the local authority may decide to place the person being cared for in a care home or nursing home for a short period. This may also be a result of a community care assessment, but must be requested as an option for consideration.
• Respite for carers: government funding for breaks is designed to offer carers more than simply time off caring, and often constitute of a short holiday. The breaks are tailored to the choices and needs of each carer, including their health, work, leisure, learning and other commitments.
• Using direct payments for time off: Local authorities should offer you the option of a direct payment for carers so they can choose what they do with their time off. For example: hire a care worker through an agency so they can go on a shopping trip, or use the direct payment to pay for a supported holiday for both them and the person they care for. The Short Breaks Network can provide more information on this.