Respite care is short-term, temporary support that allows people with MS, and the family members or carers who look after them, to have a break and a little time to themselves.
A person with MS may need round the clock support if they have advanced MS symptoms, severe mobility issues or difficulty feeding or caring for themselves. Caring for someone at home can be demanding and emotionally draining. In order to look after their own wellbeing, visit friends or family, or even just to do the shopping, an appropriate respite plan is essential for family carers.
Respite care can be given at home for a few hours in the daytime or overnight. A trained care worker can stay in your home while you are out, or you could use a local Day Centre, if the person you care for is able to travel.
Respite care can be organised through your local social care services. To book an assessment of your respite care needs, and to find out what is available locally, this may be a good place to start.
In England and Wales, you can find your local council at GOV.UK
In Scotland, you can search for your local services at Care Information Scotland
In Northern Ireland, you can find your local commissioning group through Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland
Some respite care services may be funded, or you may be asked to pay some or all of the costs.
These organisations can be helpful in finding respite care services local to you or grants to pay for respite care. Some also offer days out and short breaks for carers.
Respite care may also be available as short-term residential care in a care home, a hospice or at a holiday location.
Holiday breaks are provided by these organisations.