Whether you want a holiday or some time to unwind, experts at SuperCarers explain why it isn’t too late to find a temporary carer this summer.

Caring for a loved one with dementia is a role that demands commitment and selflessness, and can take up a lot of emotional and physical energy, so it’s understandable that at times you’ll want to take a break. Perhaps you’d like to go on holiday together but need someone to help you. Or maybe you really need to have some time away on your own.

Here’s some information that should help:

Booking replacement care whilst you holiday

Respite care enables short-term breaks for family carers, providing you with much needed rest and relaxation to recharge your batteries whilst your loved continues to be cared for. It can also act as a test run to see if an alternative care option might be suitable, without having to make any long-term decisions.

Home care is a popular care option during periods of respite, as it is less disruptive than moving someone into temporary residential care. A caregiver will live in your loved one’s home and support them with their usual routine, allowing them to remain in familiar surroundings whilst you enjoy your holiday. This is a particularly attractive option for those with dementia, who may find a new environment disruptive and distressing.

If round-the-clock care is not needed, carers can also drop in for a few hours in the day to help with daily tasks such as bathing and dressing, or just for some companionship. Respite carers can also be booked for overnight shifts, providing the peace of mind needed for a good night’s sleep.

Going on holiday together

If you would like to have a holiday together, but are worried that it might not be much of a break for you, you could arrange for a carer to accompany you on your trip. This allows you the opportunity to spend some quality time with your loved one in a chosen setting – maybe a favourite holiday spot that holds precious memories for you both - while also having your usual care load lessened. You can find a carer to provide care support during your holiday privately through care organisations like SuperCarers or through a specialist travel agency.

Organising Respite Care

Care organisations are typically quite flexible, meaning that respite care can be arranged well in advance or at fairly short notice. The one exception to this is if you plan to holiday overseas, particularly outside the EU, as carers may need to obtain travel documentation or check their insurance policies will remain in force.

It is important to talk openly about respite care options with your loved one and the other people involved in their care. It’s quite normal for someone to be hesitant about receiving care from someone other than their primary caregiver, especially if that person is not well known to them. To get around this, many families find it useful to arrange for a carer to visit in advance, sometimes more than once. This doesn’t even have to be in person, thanks to video calling software such as Facetime and Skype.

If you are leaving your loved one with a new carer, a short overlap can also be very helpful, not just for them but also for you - you will be able to relax much more easily if you’re confident the carer knows what the person you love needs and wants, as well as little things like where to find the hoover!

Finally, it may be worth investigating options for financial support, as if your loved one receives a personal budget from their local council part of this could be put towards respite care. Personal budgets are available to anyone who qualifies for care based on national eligibility criteria, and who meets their local council’s thresholds for financial support. For more information, you can see the section on personalisation in the NHS Social Care and Support Guide here.

Whether you are looking for someone to hold the fort while you holiday or hoping to take some help on your trip, SuperCarers can help you find a compassionate, vetted and highly skilled carer perfectly suited to your needs. To find more, visit their website here.