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Contact Carer Support Dorset for advice

The Carer Support Dorset is the lead carer organisation for Dorset and gives advice and support to all age, unpaid carers across the county. Carer Support Dorset’s aim is to create carer friendly communities where carers are recognised, valued and supported.

Carer Support Dorset is a central point of contact, whether by phone or through the website. They will be able to signpost or refer on to a wide range of existing support available for carers. This could include issuing a carers discount card, access to local carers’ cafes, funding streams and referring to funded services from the local authority through a carers assessment.

Contact Carer Support Dorset on telephone 0800 368 8349 Monday to Thursday 9.30am - 4.30pm, Friday 9.30am - 4.00pm or email 

Short Break

Taking a break from your caring responsibilities.

Caring can place huge demands on your time and energy and for many carers, stress is simply a fact of life. It's important to take breaks for your own health and wellbeing. It can be easy to forget to do this, so think about how you are going to organise taking a break (often called respite care).  

You can see if you are eligible for a Short Break by having a Carers Assessment.  Read our page on Carers Assessment to find out how to arrange one.

The Respite Association or Leonardo Trust may be able to help you if you can't afford to pay for alternative care while you take a break. They can help by offering funding towards the cost of providing suitable alternative care for a one-off short period, perhaps a weekend or a week, so you can have some quality time to yourself or with family.  Contact them direct or Carer Support Dorset for advice.

The Leonardo Trust also runs Short Break 4 Carers, this is a Caravan holiday in Burton Bradstock, details can be found on the Leonard Trust Short breaks webpage.

Alternative carers for your cared-for person

You might want someone else to sit with your cared-for person in the home, or care for them, so they get looked after while you take a break.

If you need regular breaks, or you want to be able to take a longer break for a few days or longer, you can arrange for a Care Assistant or Personal Assistant to come and take over some of your caring duties. Some Care Assistants can come and 'live in' with the person you care for.  These services are not free and the cost of care would normally be paid for by the cared-for person.  

Sitting service in the home whilst you go out

If you just want to get away for a few hours, the Short Break Service may be able to help you. This is a sitting service rather than full care. The service is free of charge and there is a limit on the number of hours that can be booked. If you would like to use this service you will need a carers assessment with the council.

Alternative care away from the home

The person you care for may enjoy undertaking a hobby or going to an activity such as a lunch club, memory café, or visiting a day centre. This may give you an opportunity for a break.

Have a look at our Community Directory to Find a hobby and interest class or group or Find a lunch club

Charges for respite care in a residential home vary with the type of home and level of care provided and may cost approximately £500 a week depending on where you choose to stay. (Please note costs do vary so we recommend contacting the residential home to find out the actual cost).  The person you care for may be able to spend time away in a residential care home or nursing home, depending on the level of care they need. This would normally be for a minimum of a week, although some homes might cater for shorter periods such as weekends. Respite can be offered as a one-off arrangement or on a regular basis.

The person you care for will be responsible for paying for their break unless they have been assessed by us and this is part of their care plan. 

Alternatively, you may be considering a care home.  There is a guide available - Find a care home through the Care Choices website.  Consider reading our whole Carers: help and support section before making your decision as there could be alternatives available to you.