We want every carer to be recognised, supported and offered services to help them maintain their health and wellbeing. Services are provided to respond to the needs of carers as well as the people they support, offering them peace of mind and understanding. One way we support carers is through our Helping you Care (Carers’ Breaks) Service.
What is a Carers’ Break?
A Carers’ Break involves a professional Care Support Worker spending an agreed amount of time with the person requiring care, either in or out of the home, to enable the family member/carer to have time away from their caring role.
Taking a break from caring for a friend or family member can make all the difference to the carer’s health and quality of life. It is essential to have time to pursue the things you enjoy doing, whether it be continuing to work, learning a new skill, participating in a hobby or simply relaxing and feeling safe in the knowledge that the person you care for is also happy and being well looked after.
A Carers’ Break is based on the needs of the carer and not on finances. However, certain criteria needs to be met for both the carer and the person with care needs.
Who can access Helping you Care?
To receive a Carers’ Break you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be over 18;
- The person you care for must be over 18;
- They must live in the catchment area of our Crossroads services - Hertsmere, Three Rivers or Watford boroughs;
- The carer is unable to leave the person they care for on their own for any length of time;
- Additional criteria will also need to be considered.
How does a Carers' Break work? What type of support is provided?
A Care Support Worker will come and spend time with the person requiring support so that you, the carer, can have a break. They could stay in with the person and talk, watch TV, play cards or do an activity they enjoy or go out. Some people who receive support go for a walk, shopping or to a community group. The Care Support Worker will try to accommodate the requests of the person with the care needs wherever possible.
However, they do not do housework, although may help the person they are caring for with tasks they are doing such as put the washing out to dry.
They do not provide personal care such as washing and dressing, unless it is combined with a Domiciliary Care visit or a situation arises and it is needed to make the person comfortable. Find out more about our Domiciliary Care Service here.
What happens once a Carers' Break is requested?
A member of staff will arrange a home visit where both your needs and the needs of the person you care for will be assessed to ensure the best support package is put in place. This visit is an informal chat to get to know about the person to be supported – their hobbies, likes and dislikes and medical needs. This information can then be used to ensure the appropriate support is put in place. If you and/or the person who requires the support is happy to proceed and you are eligible for help then a Support Worker(s) will be identified with the required skills and interested that best match you.
An introductory visit is organised where the Support Worker will spend some time with the person with care needs. Family members/carers are welcome, but may be asked to give the Worker time alone with the person requiring care so they get to know them.
After this visit you can decide if you want to continue and the break/care is arranged. If the match is successful and all parties are happy the Carers’ Break will be put into place. However, you could ask for a different Care Support Worker and another introductory visit is organised.
If you don’t qualify to receive a Carer’s Break or domiciliary care then you may be told about other suitable support and referred to the organisations providing the services if you agree to this.
What will the support cost me?
If you are an adult carer over 18 and support someone who is over 18 you may be eligible for a Carer’s Break at no cost to you. Carer Breaks are based on need not finances. However, if you have been given a certain number of hours a week/month and want more than this, then you may pay privately for additional support.
If you don’t meet criteria to qualify for support then you may discuss paying for the service privately.
To find out more or to discuss anything please contact us on 020 8905 1158 or email