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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Breaks for carers

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. 

You can find providers by using our online information and support directory and the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Care Directory.

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.

The National Institute for Care Excellence (NICE) online guide to home care tells you what you should expect from a good service. 

Local day activities

Another way of getting a break from caring is to find a local activity to support the person you care for or join a support group in your community.

Search our online information and support directory to find out what is available in your area.

The local area co-ordinators and First Contact Plus may also know what day activities and support groups are in your local area. 

Short term care

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.

You can find care homes and respite care providers in the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Care Directory

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:

Getting a carer's assessment

You can request a carer's assessment which will look at what information, advice or support you may need as a carer including getting a break.  Your assessment may support you to take a break.

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