Respite care in Wales

Find out what respite care is, the different types that are available, how to pay for it and how to get the most out of it. 

What is respite care?

Respite care is temporary care or support that gives the person’s main carer a break from caring.

Respite care can be arranged for a short time, for example while you go to the shops or meet friends. It can also be arranged for a longer time, for example if you want to have a break for a few days, or spend some time away. In some parts of Wales, it can also be provided when the carer has a temporary urgent health issue.

How respite care can be beneficial

Having a break from your caring role can improve your physical and mental wellbeing, and be good for your relationship with the person you care for.

Respite care can also have benefits for the person with dementia. It can be a good way for them to enjoy different hobbies and interests and maintain or develop relationships with others. This can improve their wellbeing, as it can help them to remain involved and active.

Different types of respite care in Wales

Respite care can include:

  • care at home
  • day centres and community groups
  • holidays or short breaks
  • a short stay in a care home
  • the ‘Shared Lives’ scheme
  • carers’ emergency respite care schemes
  • help from friends and family
  • spending some time away together.

The right type of respite care for the person with dementia will depend both on their – and your – needs. For example, if you want to attend a class for a couple of hours a week you might choose to have care at home, or a day centre. If either you or the person with dementia needs a longer break, a short stay in a care home might be more suitable.

Speak to a professional such as a social worker about the different care options available. You may be able to choose more than one type of care, depending on what is available in your area.

For information on the different ways you can access respite see How is respite care arranged in Wales?

Resources for Welsh speakers

If you are a Welsh speaker or bilingual, it can be helpful to know that any social care provided in English must also be available to the same standard in Welsh. This includes respite care.

Alzheimer’s Society provides information about respite care in Welsh. Download the PDF: Gofal seibiant yng Nghymru.

Living in England or Northern Ireland?

This information is for people living in Wales and does not cover England and Northern Ireland, where the systems are different. See our information on respite care in these countries:

England Northern Ireland
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