How is respite care arranged in Wales?
You can arrange respite care through your local authority or you can contact a personal assistant, homecare agency or care home directly.
Arranging respite care through the local authority
Your local authority’s social services team is responsible for helping you to find different types of respite care. They will work out how they can support you and the person you care for by assessing your care and support needs.
- If you have an assessment, this is a ‘carer’s assessment’.
- If the person with dementia has an assessment, this will be a ‘care needs assessment’.
In some areas, respite care for a person with dementia is provided as a result of a carer’s assessment, while in others it’s provided after a needs assessment for the person themselves.
Why assessments for care are important
It is important that both you and the person with dementia have your care and support needs assessed if possible. You can have a joint assessment (if you both consent to this) or separate assessments.
If your needs change you should ask social services for a reassessment, also known as a review. This will show whether your or the person’s needs have changed and may lead to extra care and support being provided, including respite care.
If the person with dementia chooses not to have a care needs assessment, or if they are found not to be eligible for care and support after an assessment, you can still have a carer’s assessment.
In Wales, you and the person with dementia have a legal right to a needs assessment or a carer’s assessment if it appears that you may have care and support needs. This is regardless of the type and frequency of the care you provide, and your income and savings. To request an assessment you, the person with dementia, or a professional can contact your local authority’s Social Services team.
You have a right to an assessment in Welsh if you are a Welsh speaker or bilingual.
Social services must provide clear information and advice about the services available in their area, and how you can access them. This information should be given for free from the beginning of this process. If you feel that the local authority is not supporting you appropriately in your caring role, or not providing you with the information you need, you can make a complaint. Ask them for a copy of their complaints process.
Arranging respite care yourself
If you choose to arrange respite care without any help from the local authority, it is your responsibility to find and arrange the respite care whether it is at home or in a care home.
If you are paying for a personal assistant or a carer from a homecare agency, check that they can provide respite care in a way that meets the person’s needs. This could be for a few hours a day, a series of regular visits (for example a few times a day) or 24-hour support at home.
The Care Inspectorate Wales registers and inspects adult social care services (including providers of respite care). It has more information (including quality ratings) about homecare providers and care homes in your local area. For more information see Other resources.
Find support near you
You can search our dementia directory for services in your area.
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