Short Breaks for Carers

As a carer you may be concerned about how coronavirus will impact your health, the health of the person you care for and/or your caring role. Lanarkshire Carers Centre have provided some useful information and guidance to help you understand the current situation and the impact this will have on their services. The Scottish Government has also issued advice for unpaid carers on Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 places a new duty on all local authorities to prepare and publish a Short Breaks Services Statement. The local authority must publish a statement that will allow local carers to be able to understand and access the necessary information in the statement allowing them to:

  • Recognise the short breaks services available in Scotland for carers and cared-for persons. The information must be accessible to, and proportionate to the needs of the persons to whom it is provided.
  • The Scottish Ministers may by regulations make further provision about the preparation, publication and review of short breaks services statements.

Why should carers have a break?

Carers tell us a break from caring is crucial to their emotional and physical wellbeing.  A break from caring can bring about benefits such as:

  • Carer has increased confidence to care
  • Carer can maintain the caring relationship and keep on caring if they so wish
  • The carer has less likelihood of hitting a crisis point
  • Carers feel more valued for the contribution they make
  • Carer feels the break made a difference to them

Why type of break could a carer take?

Our carers short break survey (Dec 2018) informed us that carers often know what type of break would best meet their needs. Carers tell us:

“A joint break would be ideal, getting support with the tasks, and a chance to join in recreation together”

“Need activities that cared for can do, but not see as respite. Let me have some me time - not a planned activity, just a chance to stop and think. Carer plus cared for joint breaks, with task support would be good”

“Overnight and occasional longer break to enable me to visit family”

The short break can take many flexible forms, the carer and the cared-for-person should have both choice and control as to the way a short break is taken. There are a variety of options and types of short breaks that carers can consider.

A break away from home for the carer - time to relax and recuperate

24 hour residential care for your cared-for-person – the person you care for going away for a short period to a residential setting

A joint break to go away together - a joint holiday or overnight break away together

Time out from your daily routine - go to the cinema, go out for a meal, join a club or take evening classes or have a pampering session

Carers could ask for support from friends and family – go shopping, catch up with your own health care appointments or chores or spend time with your other friends and family

How do I get funding a short break?

If you are assessed through the Adult Carer Support Plan as critical or substantial and have “eligible needs” as the result of the assessment you may be funded for a short break. If you receive an individual budget to arrange the short break you can decide which of the self-directed funding options to choose. You can seek information about Self-directed Support from the Self Directed Support Network, Take Control or direct from your local social work office.

If your assessment deems your support needs to be low or moderate there are a range of other short break options available to you. A range of charitable organisations have grants that you can be supported to access. Lanarkshire Carers Centre host funds for Creative Breaks and have a Respitality Register for South Lanarkshire carers where you may be able to make an application for a short break grant or gifted voucher.

Funding can be obtained for a short break from a number of organisations such as:

Challenge Childrens Fund (CCF)

Clevedon Forbes Fund             

Shared Care Scotland              

Disability Aid Trust                    

Lanarkshire Carers Centre       

South Lanarkshire Young Carers Service


Accessible Accommodation

Many organisations offer accessible accommodation/ accessible forms of transport for people with disabilities. You can find more information from the Lanarkshire Carers Centre Short Breaks Bureau or Shared Care Scotland.

How can I find out more?

The SBSS should help carers and their cared-for-people to understand their rights, options and opportunities for short breaks, although it cannot remove all the barriers to carers getting a break. The statement should help to support short break planning for carers both “eligible” and “non- eligible” under the “duty to support” carers.

The SBSS will provide information to carers and cared-for-people so they can:

  • Know they can have a break in a range of ways
  • Get the information about available short breaks
  • Choose the supports they access
  • Can identify what a short break means for them

Read the Short Breaks Service Statement to fully understand your rights, our duties and the options for a short break to you as a carer.


Lanarkshire Carers Centre

Phone: 01698 428090
Email: Lanarkshire Carers Centre