Finding respite that works best for you | Oxfordshire County Council

Finding respite that works best for you

Respite is alternative care or support for the cared for person to enable the carer to have a break

What is respite care?

Respite care is the term used to describe replacement services which enable a carer to take a break from their caring role.

This can include a range of things, such as employing someone to sit with the person being ' cared for', cook for them, take them to a day centre, or arranging temporary residential care.

Before you decide what type of respite you want for your family and what will work best for you, it's a good idea to consider the following three questions:

  1. What does the 'carer' want to do and what does the 'cared for' person want to do?
  2. Who will provide the respite – a volunteer, care or support worker, family and friends, personal assistant or a Shared Lives family?
  3. Where will this be? Who will remain at home, who goes away or will you stay together?

How do I know if I'm eligible to receive respite care?

You will need to complete an assessment to determine if you have eligible needs for respite and are entitled to support from the council to meet those needs. Find out more information about the assessment.

What if I'm not eligible to receive respite care?

If you don't have eligible needs and still want to use Respite you'll need to pay for this yourself. You can find more information in the section titled Accessing Respite Care if you don't have eligible needs.

What respite options are available to me?

If you are eligible for support from the council then there a number of different respite options you may be able to choose from and we explain these in more detail below. Your allocated worker will work with you and the person you care for to find respite options that are suitable for both your needs

Staying with a Shared Lives Family

Shared lives families can provide respite breaks for carers by looking after the 'cared for person' in the shared lives host family home or by attending community activities with them. These can be for a part day, full day, and overnight or longer stays.

Learning Disability Residential Respite Centre or Care Home

Another option might be for the 'cared for person' to go and stay in a learning disability respite centre or a care home in Oxfordshire for a short period to enable their carer to take a break. If you don't already receive respite one of these places, we would recommend contacting Adult Social Care well in advance of your preferred dates for respite as new referrals are prioritised on need.

Care and support at home

If the person being cared for is willing and able to stay in their own home  you might opt to use an agency employed support worker/personal assistant/family and friends to provide respite  by supporting 'the cared for person' in their own home. This could be for a few hours, longer than a few hours, for example 6-8 hours, overnight, a few days or a few weeks.

Time out for carers

If you only need a short period of respite then you might opt to use the Time out for carers Service where a trained and DBS checked volunteer can provide 'respite' for approximately 2 hours a week in the cared for person's home.

Day time/evening activity or trip

The 'cared for' person can attend a day time or evening activity or go on a day trip to enable their carer to take a break from their role. This could be a group or individual activity.  

Assistive Technology

In some cases the use of Assistive Technology can ensure that cared for person is safe whilst the carer takes a break. Assistive technology can help the 'cared for' person to:

  • Remember to have something to eat or drink, take medication or go to an appointment.
  • Keep safe at home, through smoke, flood, or fall detectors.
  • Request immediate help.
  • Keep safe when they’re out and about.
  • Determine how they are managing at home, if, for example, they have memory problems.

Assistive Technology might be used in conjunction with some of the other options listed above and you can find out more information about the types of technology used

A stay away from home

Respite might be provided with a short stay away from home, for example run by an organisation where cared for and carer can attend together or just the 'cared for' or carer goes away.

Accessing Respite care if you don't have eligible needs

If you don't have eligible needs for Respite then you'll need to arrange and pay for these services yourself. You can still use the services listed above with the exception of the Shared Lives scheme.

If you want to arrange Respite in a residential care home you can use the Live Well Website to find an appropriate home. Care homes will consider respite bookings, although they may be reluctant to book them too far in advance, as they make be able to use the vacancy for a permanent booking.

If you want to find out more information about Respite and the options available to you, contact our Customer Service Team on 0345 050 7666.

Oxfordshire's Respite Offer

The Oxfordshire Respite Offer sets out our priorities for respite and the actions we are committed to take to improve people's experience of respite.

The offer to carers and people they care for is based on taking action in four areas that people told us are important to them.

The priorities are:

  • Priority 1 - We will describe what good respite looks like and implement the co-designed quality standards.
  • Priority 2 -We will make it easier for people to find respite and work together to increase the range of options available for respite
  • Priority 3 -We will make it easier for people to find out if they are eligible for respite and if they might be asked to pay for it.
  • Priority 4 - Professionals across Oxfordshire, carers, people who use services and commissioners will have a shared understanding of Respite and Emergency Care.

What happens next?

To develop these priorities a two year action plan has been agreed. The actions are based on people's feedback about what we have already and what we need to develop, what works and what we need to improve the plan will be reviewed annually and published through this website.

One of the actions is to improve information and advice on respite and emergency care by Spring 2017. This webpage will be a key part of this action.

Emergency Care

What is emergency care?

Emergency care normally takes place at very short notice and for a limited period of time. You might need emergency care if there is a sudden change in your situation or an unexpected event occurs which means you need some support to help you through that period.

There are two main types of emergency care:

Home or community based support

This is support which enables you to remain in the community, it can include one or more of the options below.

  • Asking a family member or friend to support you
  • Finding a carer from a care agency to support you
  • Provide you with a piece of equipment that supports you.

Bed based care services

Bed based care services normally take place in a care home or occasionally one of the learning disability respite services. If you need bed based emergency care it means you'll need to leave your home for a short period of time.

How will I know what is right for me?

The Adult Social Care Team work with you to identify the most appropriate option for you, but wherever possible they'll try to find an option that enables you to remain in your own home as long as it's safe and appropriate for you to do so.

Paying for emergency care

Emergency care is a chargeable service and if you haven't already had a financial assessment, we'll need to complete one in order to determine how much you can afford to contribute towards the cost of your emergency care. Find out more information about the financial assessment.

What happens once my emergency care ends?

We'll continue to work with you to ensure that the situation has been resolved and if necessary discuss with you whether we need to put any longer term care /support arrangements in place.

How can I find out more information and or access emergency care?

If you want to find out more information about emergency care you can contact our Customer Service Team on 0345 050 7666.

If you are an unpaid family carer you can register with the emergency care support service

More information

Last reviewed
13 June 2017
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