Taking breaks from your caring role is vital to maintaining your own health and sense of wellbeing. It can be difficult to arrange, but it is important that you persist in finding the necessary support you need. Below are some local respite options and other resources you may find useful.  

Plan Ahead

It is a good idea to plan your respite options before you really need them. Trying to plan respite when you are already overwhelmed can very quickly become too much. 

Consider what type of respite is acceptable, does the person require 24 hour care, or could they manage with an increase in care package. 

Some people choose to have a 24 hour carer in their own home, and you would need to look into where you could access this as not all care agencies provide this type of care. Some people choose to hire a carer just for a short period of time. 

If respite is needed in a care home for 24 hour care by a carer or nursing establishment, you could contact a home of your choice to organise this if you are self funding.  If you are supported with funding by Social Services they may choose the establishment for you.  In an emergency Social Services will place your loved one in a Care establishment that has a vacancy.

It is also a good idea to plan what would happen if you were suddenly unable to care for your loved one, and more information regarding this can be found on our Emergency Planning page.

Local Respite Options

The Bedfordshire & Luton Directory: Adult Care and Support Services provides full details of organisations providing paid care. You can get a paper copy from Bedford Borough Council (01234 267 422) or Central Bedfordshire Council (0300 300 8303) or the Carers in Bedfordshire office. 

Care Choices has written a Home Care Checklist with a list of questions you can ask when considering which company to use. 

Age UK Bedfordshire runs a fee-based Carers Respite Service. You can pay for it yourself or apply for a Needs/Carers Assessment. 

There are a number of Good Neighbour Schemes throughout the county who offer a sitting service by a volunteer. Ring Carers in Bedfordshire (0300 111 1919) for details. 

For those who have a life-limiting condition, a sitting service is organised by Hospice at Home & Respite at Home Volunteers. 

For carers of those under 25 years: 
Bedford Borough Bedford Local Offer 
Central Beds Special Educational Needs and Disability – Local Offer | Central Bedfordshire Council 

For adults: 
Bedford Borough have various community directories Adult social care community directory · Bedford Borough Council 
Central Beds Adults and older people | Central Bedfordshire Council 

National Respite Options

We know respite and navigating the system is complex for carers. We are talking to the local councils to make this better for carers. In the meantime, there are many national services which offer holidays, breaks, trips abroad, outdoor activities, financial help and information that can help you in your journey. Find out more at: 
National breaks for carers and those they care for 

Paying for Care

This can either be done privately or through the local councils.  If you need support with costs then you need to contact the local councils for a Getting a Carers and Needs Assessment. 

Legal & General offer carers a free consultation to help you find and pay for care – visit the Legal & General website or contact 0800 086 9071 for further information.