Caring can place huge demands on your time and energy and for many carers, stress is a simple fact of life. It is important to take breaks for your own health and wellbeing. It can be easy to forget to do this, so think about how you are going to organise taking a break (often called respite care).

Respite care in the home

You might want respite care in the home, so the person you care for gets looked after at home while you take a break.

If you need regular respite or you want to be able to take a break for a few days or longer, you can get a care assistant to come and take over some of your caring duties. Some care assistants can come and ‘live in’ with the person you care for. This service is not free and the cost of care would normally be paid for by the cared for person. Details of companies that can provide care assistants can be found on the Homecare website – – or by calling 01305 221016.

If you need to get away for a few hours, the ‘Short Break Service’ may be able to help you. This is a ‘sitting service’ rather than full care. The service is free of charge and there is a limit on the number of hours that can be booked. If you would like to use this service, you will need to have a carer’s assessment with Dorset Council. Please contact us and we’ll put you in touch –

Respite care away from the home

The person you care for may enjoy a hobby or going to an activity such as a lunch club, memory café or a day centre. This may give you an opportunity for a break.

You can find details of activities and day centres near you on the Dorset Council website – – or 01305 221016.

The person you care for may be able to spend time away in a residential care home or nursing home, dependent on the level of care they need. This would normally be for a minimum of a week, although some homes might cater for shorter periods such as weekends. Respite can be offered as a one-off arrangement or on a regular basis.

Charges for respite care in a residential home vary with the type of home and the level of care provided, but would be a minimum of around £630 per week. The person you care for will be responsible for paying for their break unless they have been assessed by Dorset Council and this is part of their care plan.

Details of care homes in Dorset can be found in the Adult Care and Support Services Directory – – or by calling 01305 221016.

The Leonardo Trust

The Leonardo Trust can help provide funding for respite breaks and short holidays if you meet their eligibility criteria –

To find out more, either contact The Leonardo Trust directly or contact us and we can make a referral –