What is respite care at home?
If you provide care to a partner, relative or friend and need more time for yourself, it may be possible to arrange for care services to provide care within their home. This might be on a regular basis (for example, one day a week so that you can work, study or have a day off) or for a short period, such as a week, so that you can take a holiday. If the person you care for needs 24-hour supervision, it is possible to arrange for a care worker to stay overnight.
What options are available at home?
There are various options available for respite care and support at home.
- Sitting services, where someone can come in to sit with the person who needs care for a few hours.
- 24-hour live-in care, which can be arranged in an emergency or to provide a regular break for a carer. Suitable accommodation must be available within the home and this is seldom funded by local authorities. See the UK Homecare Association for more details.
- Night-time care, which can enable the regular carer to get a full night’s sleep for one or two nights a week. In the case of terminal illness, this care can sometimes be provided by Macmillan or Marie Curie nurses.
- Assistive technology, where home activity monitors and telehealth devices can offer peace of mind by helping people to be safer at home for longer without a carer. For more information, see our mobility and disability aid guides in Which? Home & garden.
Finding a respite homecare provider
- Contact local charities, such as the Royal Voluntary Society (RVS), Age UK, Macmillan or Marie Curie, who may be able to help with respite care at home.
- Employ a private live-in carer - however, there are lots of things to think about for this option: see live-in care.
- Contact a homecare agency about a live-in carer: to find home care providers in the local area, enter your loved one’s postcode in our care services directory and filter to show domiciliary care.
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