Breaks from caring

The term ‘breaks from caring’ can cover any form of support that enables a carer to have time away from their caring responsibilities.   

Breaks can take place in a number of ways and for differing lengths of time.  They can be done jointly with the cared-for person, or without them, depending on people’s preferences.

Regardless of age, carers should be enabled to take their break in a way that fits the carer and their situation.  Breaks can be supported by:

  • the individual spending time with another family member or friend
  • creative ‘breaks from caring’ such as leisure or relaxation opportunities, equipment, help with domestic tasks that add to the impact of the caring role
  • at the home of the cared for person by Community or Outreach services, care, or “sitter” services
  • by the cared for person attending a day centre or a local interest or activity group
  • flexibly by using a personal budget through Self Directed Support
  • in the home of another person through the Share the Care or Shared Lives Schemes
  • in a care home or other residential respite service

Carers have told us that these breaks from caring are essential in allowing them to continue to care for longer and in better health, and a successful short break can provide a meaningful experience for both the carer and the person they are looking after.


Help to arrange a break

Where support is required to enable a break, Carers of people in East Lothian can access this via Carers of East Lothian who can provide flexible small grants and support in thinking about what kind of break will meet the carers needs. 

As the impact of caring increases support may be given through social work as part of a more formal support package (if the carer meets the local eligibility criteria).

ELHSCP in collaboration with CoEL have produced Short Breaks Services Statements which provide information on the different breaks available in East Lothian. 

Mother and Son looking to a camera
Download PDF: Short Breaks Service - Children

Woman and Dog looking at a camera
Download PDF: Short Breaks Service - Adults