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Short Breaks (Respite) for Adults

Do you rely on a family member or friend to look after you? Or are you someone who cares for a friend or relative? A short break may do you both good.

However much the caring relationship means to you, caring can sometimes be tiring or stressful and you feel in need of a break or rest.  A short break offers you and the person you care for time out from your normal routine and a chance to have a rest and change of scenery.  A Carers Needs Assessment can help you decide what support you may need.  

What are short breaks?

How do I access a short break through Social Services?

How much will it cost?

Local and National Support for Carers

What are short breaks?

Short breaks have traditionally been called respite and usually involved the cared for person spending time in residential care. However the name 'short breaks' reflects the fact that nowadays there are also more flexible ways of accessing a break from caring that is right for you and your family. A short break can help to enable you to support the person you care for to continue living at home.

Having a short break could mean the person you care for has alternative support for anything from a couple of hours up to a few weeks. These short breaks should provide a positive experience for everyone involved and can be arranged as regular planned breaks, one-off breaks or  even at short notice to cope with an unexpected situation.

How do I access a short break through Social Services?

If you have not previously had involvement with Social Services then the first step is to contact the Common Access Point for Health and Social Care who can offer advice and signpost you to appropriate services. If the person you care for meets Social Services' eligibility criteria then a social worker or care management officer will contact you to discuss your options about respite and short break opportunities. 

Short break options

The options below can currently only be accessed as part of a support plan from Social Services:

  • Short break (respite) at home: A fully trained support worker will come to your house for up to 3 hours a week.
  • Short break in a local authority care home: short break visitors can enjoy the benefits of staying in a care home and have the opportunity to meet people.
  • Day service: A day out of the house for the person you care for including transport.
  • Adult family placement: staying in a family home with specially trained families who will provide the care and support you need.  (This is currently only available for younger disabled adults).
  • Direct payments:  instead of Social Services organising support you can organise services yourself to suit your needs, giving you more flexibility and control over the arrangements you make. See Direct Payments for more information.

If you would like to know more about options for short breaks Social Services has factsheets which focus on short breaks:

PDF Document Short Breaks for Older People in a residential home (Factsheet 022) (PDF, 57KB)Opens new window

PDF Document Short Breaks for Older People Living with Dementia (Factsheet 057) (PDF, 56KB)Opens new window

PDF Document Community-based Short Breaks (Respite) for Older Adults (Factsheet 048) (PDF, 31KB)Opens new window

PDF Document Short Daytime Breaks to Support Carers of Older People (Factsheet 044) (PDF, 25KB)Opens new window

There are also breaks you can organise and pay for yourself . This could include accessible hotels or a destination which caters for people with different support needs.

How much will it cost?

This depends on your income and level of savings. If you prefer not to tell us about your income and savings, you can choose not to have a financial assessment, but this will mean that the full cost of the short break will need to be paid.

There are a number of ways that short break services can be funded:

  • Self funded - you arrange and pay for your own short break service
  • Partially funded - the costs of the break may be shared between you and the local authority and/or health services
  • Fully funded - by health services under Continuing Health Care, or through a Carer's Grant
  • Charitable funding

Your social worker or care manager will be able to give you more information. However anyone can access this type of service independently by contacting  Swansea Carers CentreOpens new window or a home care agency. A charge will apply. Prices and availability vary.

Local and national support for carers

Across Swansea and surrounding areas there are many organisations which support, advise and assist carers and people they care for. This includes Swansea Carers CentreOpens new window who offer respite servicesOpens new window along with a range of other services from support groups to counselling and welfare support.

Local support organisations for Carers

National organisations supporting Carers

The Common Access Point for Health and Social Care can offer further advice and signposting to support and schemes in your area. 


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