Getting any kind of official respite unless your loved one is living with either significant physical or intellectual disabilities can be nigh-on impossible. The financial constraints on councils plus the additional anxieties that you may feel about leaving your loved one with someone who isn’t family, or their unwillingness to be without you, can mean that getting a break is hugely difficult.

It’s always worth asking your local council for an assessment. Registering your need won’t do any harm and even if your needs are not considered critical enough for respite care, you should find out more about what other services are available in your area.  If you haven’t asked for or received a carer’s assessment then you can ask for that at the same time. There’s more information about carer’s assessments here.

Respite isn’t a break if the whole time you are away from your loved one you are worrying like mad about them or receiving a stream of texts or phone calls. It can feel like it’s more hassle than it’s worth and the fallout when you return can make it feel like it’s done more harm than good. In the long term, however, not taking a break can lead to all kinds of more long-term issues around independence and inter-dependence, impact on your own mental health and leave you isolated. There is more general information about respite here from Carers UK

Be spontaneous! If it’s a ‘good day’ – go out, do something as a family or as a couple or find some time for yourself. Don’t waste it doing housework – you don’t know when the next good day will come.

Ruth, A Mum

Something keeping you up at night?

You aren’t alone. You may find more information in our section: “The Tough Stuff” – things no-one talks about