Caring for someone can have a considerable impact on your health and wellbeing.
Being a carer can be hard and exhausting work and you may need to take a break sometimes.
Breaks are a vital way of helping you maintain your wellbeing as they provide you with the time and space to recharge your batteries.
It is important that you understand the options available to you and know how to access them.
There are various ways for you to take a break you may want to consider
Asking family and friends to help
If you have family or friends they may be able to help support you by stepping in a looking after or sitting with the person you care for, to enable you to have a break.
Having a holiday yourself
Holidays are a good way to recharge your batteries, with or without the person you care for. There are many different options
Carers Holidays - If you are a carer you can use the Carers Holidays website and access discounts on holiday accommodation. Simply join the FREE membership scheme and quote your membership number to the holiday provider when you make your booking.
The Family Fund – can provide grants towards the cost of holidays for families on low income who are caring for a child with a severe disability.
Disabled holidays – offer different types of holidays for the carer and the person they care for.
Saga Resite for carers (trust) – this service can offer a limited number of free holidays each year for carers over the age of 50 years and the person they care for
Taking part in leisure activities and meet other people
It is important as a carer to make time to do activities you like. There is a range of activities available for more information go to our events page or visit the Dudley Community Information Directory or call Dudley Carers Network on 01384 818723 email email@example.com
Getting the person you care for involved in other activities
As a carer you maybe able to have a break if the person you care for takes part in activity outside the home, this may include going to a day care centre or attending school or activity groups. If possible you should try and make sure the person you care for carries on with the activity as long as possible such as going to church or clubs.
Getting leisure discounts e.g. Dudley Council’s Options + leisure card offers discounted social and leisure activities.
The Options+ Leisure Discount Scheme offers significant savings to residents and non residents on leisure activities across Dudley. The benefits of membership are 50% off a number of services and events as follows:
• Dudley Libraries - Half price rental on compact discs and DVD hire from all Dudley Libraries
• Sport & Physical Activity - Sport courses, swimming instruction, swimming, badminton, squash / racketball, bowls, table tennis, climbing, fitness suites, and fitness classes.
Options+ is accepted at the Crystal Leisure Centre, Dudley Leisure Centre, Halesowen Leisure Centre, and the Dell Stadium
• Events - Himley Hall Bonfire & Under 5's fun day
• Halls & Entertainment - Tickets to selected shows
Whether you live in Dudley Borough or not, you are eligible to join the Options+ scheme if you are in receipt of Carers Allowance or if you are registered with Dudley Carers Network or a parent of a child in receipt of Disability Living Allowance.
For more information contact Dudley Carers Network on 01384 818723 email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.dudley.gov.uk
Replacement and respite care
Sometimes you may need support to have a break because the person you care for cannot manage without help and therefore require ‘replacement’ or ‘respite’ care.
Replacement care can mean different things to carers and can mean friends or family stepping in to give you a break or short term residential care, where the person you care for goes to stay in a care home or other residential setting for short time or it could mean getting someone to sit with the person your care for – this is often referred to as a ‘sitting service.
Replacement care is designed to replace the care that you, as a carer, would normally be giving the person you care for. You might want to consider:
• Homecare services - these can either be provided: during the day to give you the opportunity to access leisure/social time; during the night if you require support to help you get a full night's sleep. Support can involve sitting with the person you care for and keeping them company and helping them to get up, washed and dressed or taking the person you care for out to access their local community.
• Residential or nursing care – this is where the person you're caring for goes for a short respite stay in a residential or nursing home to give you a break.
• Day care – this is where the person you're caring for goes to a day centre or takes part in activities away from home.
The council will discuss the options available with you and can provide you with a list of accredited providers to choose from.
Paying for replacement or respite care
How you pay for replacement or respite care will depend on the type of care you need and your personal circumstances.
Contact the local council for a carers assessment which will consider your need for respite care. You may also consider an assessment of the person you care, if they meet the eligibility criteria and are able to access social care support then this can relieve aspects of your caring role. They may qualify for direct payments so they can arrange and pay for their own respite.
For more information on options to take a break from caring contact Dudley Carers Network on 01384 818723 or the council’s Access to adult social care helpline on 0300 555 0055.