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Leicestershire County Council recognises the vital support unpaid carers provide to their family members, friends, and neighbours. We also understand the value a break away from caring can have. Caring can be exhausting, so it's important to try and find some time for you. This can be of benefit to both you and the person you care for. There are different ways you can get a break from caring.
Getting a break
Carefree for Carers
Carefree uses charitable funding, to provide free breaks to unpaid carers.
In 2020 we signed up to become a partner organisation to Carefree, launch of which was delayed due to the pandemic. Staff are now making referrals for breaks for carers or you can make a self-referral for a break by visiting Take a break - Carefree.
Carers referred to the scheme must be:
aged 21 or over
full-time unpaid carer (35+ hours per week)
able to arrange interim care for the person they support – (if your referral is made via Adult Social Care as part of your carers assessment your worker may be able to support with this.)
able to pay for extras (transport, food, travel insurance etc.)
Respite at home (sitting service / time with)
There are providers, care agencies and personal assistants that can deliver flexible support at home (sometimes known as a sitting service) to provide you with a break from caring. If eligible, Adult Social Care may be able to support with this as part of your carers assessment. Or you can arrange this service yourself on a regular basis or as and when you need it.
If the person you care for requires personal (intimate) care, this will not be provided via a carers assessment and the provider or care home must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC inspects all care homes and regulated homecare agencies in England and Wales. We recommend that you search the website for a named care home or agency or enter your postcode to search in your area.
If you want to take a short break or holiday, you can arrange some short-term care for the person you look after by contacting any residential home and asking for availability and pricing. This is sometimes known as respite care. Respite care may be significantly more expensive than long term permanent care.
Age UK have information and advice on what to look for when choosing a residential care home, including a checklist to download.
Live in Care
There are also national and local providers who can supply live in carer(s) 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Live in care allows the person you care for to remain in their own home with the support they need avoiding the trauma of moving them into unfamiliar surroundings. See: