If you're a carer, you might need to take a break sometimes. Whether it's a short respite break away from your caring role, or a holiday with the person you care for, a change of scenery can help you feel better able to cope in your caring role.

Respite care - subsidised or self-funded short breaks

How you pay for respite depends on the type of respite you need and your personal circumstances. You may be able to get help, or you may need to pay for care yourself.

Learn more about respite care

Sitting and befriending services

Some local carer services and charities offer a sitting or befriending service where a trained person stays with the person you care for while you go out.

Find out about sitting and befriending services


Holidays are a good way to recharge your batteries, with or without the person you care for.

Find out more about taking a break

Family taking selfie on holiday

How to arrange respite care

  • Get in touch with your local carer service as they will be able to help you find out more about taking a break.
  • Ask your local council for a carer’s assessment (Adult Carer Support Plan in Scotland) as it looks at the support you need – this could include regular respite and carer breaks. Get in touch with your local council if you haven't had an assessment yet. Find your local council here.
  • Try talking to your family and friends and see if they can help by giving you a break.
  • Find out about paying for respite.
  • Find out more about buying care at home, from a care support worker or a personal assistant.

Paid help at home

When choosing a care provider there are a number of things to consider to ensure you, the person you care for and your family receive the best quality support.

More about paid help at home

Care homes

There may come a time when the person you care for can no longer be looked after at home and may need to move permanently into a care home.

Learn more about choosing and paying for a care home

Helping a carer with the cleaning

Help with tasks at home

You may be able to get help with tasks like cleaning or gardening, to make your caring role easier.

How to get help at home