Respite Care

We all deserve a break every once and a while, and this is especially true for carers and those being cared for. Respite care, often referred to as a ‘short stay’ or ‘short break’ could make a big difference to a person’s health and well-being.

Respite care at Barchester Healthcare

What is respite care?

Respite care offers a break from the day-to-day care routine, with a change of scenery, the opportunity for socialisation and new experiences, while providing a seamless continuity of care.

Short term respite care is also a great opportunity to trial what life in a care home is like, and is often the first step towards moving into permanent residency in a care home.

If you or a loved one are in need of a break, one of Barchester’s 250 care homes throughout the UK will be on hand to provide respite services suited to your needs, ensuring that everyone's personal preferences are respected.

Why is respite care important for carers?

Caregivers often don’t get much time to themselves, and it can be hard for them to ask for help or a break. But a small breather can make a big difference in maintaining personal health, and in preventing burnout.

Respite caregivers allow a person’s full time carer to have a break with the reassurance that the person they care for is receiving everything that they need.

Short-term care can also provide a community of support for the caregiver, allowing a connection with others with similar experiences, and further enhancing the importance of respite care for both the person being cared for, and their carer.

When is respite care necessary?

Respite care for the elderly is often required when someone needs a break from their everyday routine. 

It gives carers the opportunity to take some time out and reset, and gives those being cared for the chance to have some time away from the home environment which can sometimes feel isolating.

Respite care also might be suitable for those who are recovering from an operation or illness and require a little more support than usual. Emergency respite care might also be required, if a carer falls ill, or is unable to provide care at short notice.

What are the benefits of respite care?

There are a number of benefits to elderly respite care, relating to psychological, sociological and physical well-being.

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Tailored 24-hour care
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Life-enriching activities
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Improved dining experience
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Change of scenery
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Warm and supportive team
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Our care homes are designed to support all residents to live a fulfilled life. Dedicated 24-hour care in a high-quality, homely setting ensures that both short-term and long-term residents can concentrate on recovering or relaxing.

At Barchester, we get to know each of our residents, learning their life stories, likes and dislikes to offer truly personalised care and support – and this is no different for those in short term residential care.

It’s important that eating and drinking are for both enjoyment and health, and the dining experience is as important as the food itself. Our beautiful dining rooms provide a social environment to dine in and our cafes are well-stocked with home-made sweet treats, available at any time of day. Our seasonal menus offer variety and choice, with nutritious and delicious food tailored to personal preferences by our qualified and highly experienced chefs.

A stimulating programme of life-enriching activities ensures every day is different and offers the opportunity to socialise with other residents and the visiting community if desired. We offer the freedom to try and learn new things from various workshops, trips out and virtual live experiences, or partake in well-loved hobbies such as gardening, baking and crafts. 

As part of our commitment to our residents, we ensure that they always have around-the-clock, 24/7 access to help and support from our dedicated care staff.

dining experience
Planning for respite care

Planning for respite care

It might not always be possible to plan for respite care, as it might be needed unexpectedly. Our team will always be on hand to help you find the right temporary care home, even at short notice.

Many of Barchester’s care homes accept respite bookings in advance, which is perfect for long-term planning if a carer is looking to book a holiday or is unable to offer care for a short period.

Planning regular, short breaks in a care home offers a change of scenery, variety and companionship. Many Barchester homes have their own hair and beauty salons with a range of treatments for a spot of pampering and additional services such as physiotherapy can be arranged if required.

How to arrange respite care

In some instances, temporary respite care is provided as a result of a carer’s assessment. In other cases, it might be highlighted via a needs assessment for the person you care for. Both assessment types can be organised through your local council, and you can arrange for them both to be done at the same time.

At Barchester, we can help you find the right type of support, in the best environment suited to your loved one. You can also use our online care home search tool for more information on our services. We recommend arranging a visit to your chosen care home.

Prior to admission, the General Manager will arrange to meet you and your loved one in the convenience of your own home, or at the care home. They will assess your loved one’s care needs, start to get to know them and their likes and dislikes and then tailor a care plan to suit them. 

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Paying for respite care

Who pays for respite care depends entirely on the person’s financial situation. Your local council may offer to pay for respite care following a financial assessment. However, if you’re looking to pay for respite care, money could be raised from pensions, savings or benefits such as Attendance Allowance

Our guide to understanding the costs involved in care homes may help you further.

Read our 'Paying for care' guide


Barchester respite care

Why choose Barchester respite care homes?

Respite care services at Barchester are bespoke to each individual and include tailored menus and personalised care. 

Short-term residents are welcomed and encouraged to participate in our homes’ daily life enrichment activities, which offer a fun and stimulating way to keep busy. 

Prior to admission, the General Manager will arrange to meet you and your loved one either in the convenience of your home, or at the care home to assess your loved one’s care needs. They’ll spend time getting to know them, including their likes and dislikes to ensure that their care plan is tailored to suit them.

Types of respite offered at Barchester care homes

We provide a range of care services for older people in need of support on a short term basis.

Residential Care

Residential respite care is for people whose care needs are relatively low. A short break offers the opportunity to meet new people, take part in regular activities and spend some time away from their own home.

Nursing Care

Nursing respite care offers 24-hour medical care as well as support with personal living needs. Our care teams are dedicated to health and well-being, providing comfort and delivering the right level of care with respect.

Dementia Care

Respite care for dementia is important for both those being cared for, and caregivers. Our dementia respite care not only ensures that a person is cared for in a safe environment, but makes a positive difference to their quality of life.

A carer and resident with flowers

Facilities at Barchester respite care homes

We strive to make life in our respite homes as stimulating and fulfilling as possible and are committed to ensuring independence, dignity and choice in every aspect of daily life. They’re decorated and furnished to a high standard and built with residents’ needs and wants in mind – from hair and beauty salons, to cafes and choice of rooms to dine or relax in.

Most of our homes have beautifully maintained outdoor spaces, which are often tended to by not only our committed staff, but our residents too.

Activities at Barchester respite care homes

Ensuring that residents have the opportunity to take part in meaningful activities is a key part of life in Barchester care homes. 

‘Meaningful activities’ mean different things for each individual, and so our activities staff take the time to learn what stimulates, engages and gives purpose to each person. 

From gardening and playing croquet, to something as simple as reminiscing about days gone by, activities are varied and suited to the personal interests of the people we care for. Many of our homes also have busy trip schedules - taking the time to visit local attractions or enjoy a lunch out. We warmly welcome family and friends to take part in activities and home events, to ensure that they have plenty of opportunity to spend time with loved ones in an enjoyable setting.

Activities at a respite care home Barchester

"I stayed for two weeks for respite care after a hip replacement. The care was the best I could hope for. The staff were amazing, took care of every need I had and went above and beyond expectations. Arranged extra equipment and help. The food was an exception. The choice of food and menu was equivalent to having a meal at a Michelin restaurant. Five stars plus experience. Would recommend this place to whoever wants to know more and I am willing to attend and explain more. I was fortunate to have found myself in this place and if needed will be back. Staff, food, hygiene and hospitality are the best 5* plus."

“The care Mum received has been truly wonderful, the staff are very caring and have treated us like family. Nothing has been too much trouble, and anytime Mum needs respite care we will be back. ”

a happy couple at a nursing care home

Find a Barchester respite care home near you

Barchester has over 250 care homes across the UK; each one creating a supportive and friendly environment for residents. Choosing a care home can be a big decision, but our highly trained teams are on hand to answer any questions you might have, and are well-equipped for caring for people with a wide range of needs.

Barchester respite care homes near you

Alternatives to respite care

Respite care is ideal for those in need of short-term care. However, when an individual goes into respite care, it can sometimes highlight the need for longer-term care. 

At Barchester, we offer a multitude of long-term care options, from full-time residential care to high-quality nursing care and dementia care.

Learn more about respite care

Respite care FAQs

​​What does it mean when someone is in respite care?

When someone is in respite care, it means that they are spending time away from their usual surroundings - often their homes - to be cared for by friendly and highly trained professionals for a short period of time.

What is meant by respite care?

Respite care is short-term relief for both the person being cared for, and the caregiver. It gives the person being cared for the chance for a change of scenery, to meet new people, and to get involved with regular activities. Caregivers have the opportunity to take some time to relax, go on holiday, or just have some breathing space.

What is an example of respite care?

Respite care often takes place in a residential care setting, and is suitable for individuals with a wide range of needs.

How to find the right respite care for you?

To find the right respite care for you, it’s important to do research online or by contacting and visiting suitable care homes for your loved one’s needs. Speaking to those who have benefitted from respite care is also a good option.

How long does respite care last?

Respite care can last for anything from a few days up to a few weeks. It could span a short period whilst an individual’s usual carer has a weekend away, or it could last longer following a hospital stay.

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