Replacement care, also commonly known as respite care, is any care arrangement designed to give rest or relief to unpaid carers. It aims to support carers to have a break from their caring responsibilities. This page looks at what replacement care is, the different types that are available, and how to pay for it. It also offers tips to help carers and people with dementia to get the most out of replacement care.
This section is for people living in England and is not intended for Wales and Northern Ireland, where the systems are different. For information on respite care in these countries please see our pages: Respite care in Wales or Respite care in Northern Ireland.
Everyone needs a break from time to time. Carers are no different, and it is important that they are able to have a rest, whether it is a short break to run errands or meet friends, or longer time spent away. Breaks are good for a carer's physical and mental well being and can enhance the relationship with the person they care for. The person with dementia may also benefit from the break. It could provide social interactions and opportunities to pursue hobbies and interests, remain involved and active, and form new relationships.