Finding respite care

If you’d like to arrange temporary care at home or a short stay in a care home for yourself or someone else, our Finding Care tool can help.



If you’ve recently stayed in hospital, the NHS may offer to arrange care to help you get back on your feet, either at home or in a care home. It’s free, usually lasts for up to six weeks, and it can help reduce the chances of you needing to go back into hospital.

Similar to intermediate care, re-ablement gives you support at home or in a care home for up to six weeks. It’s paid for by your local authority to help you rebuild your confidence and live independently.

If you’d like to arrange respite care but you’re not sure where to start, you can contact the Adult Social Care team at your local authority to ask for an assessment of your needs. If you’re also supported by a partner, family member or friend giving you unpaid care, they can have their needs assessed as well to make sure they get all the support they need as your carer.

Paying for respite/temporary care

To begin with, it’s always worth approaching your local authority to ask about respite care. Some have voucher schemes offering a certain amount of free or reduced-price respite care at home or in a care home throughout the year.

If your local authority don’t have any support like this, then they can charge you for any care they arrange. For short-term care in a care home for up to eight weeks or temporary care up to 52 weeks, they can’t consider the value of the property when they decide how much you should pay. They must also make sure you’re left with enough of your income to cover the cost of maintaining your home, so it’s in a fit state when you’re ready to return.

Read more about local authority assessments

Support for carers

Respite care can give carers time to rest, away from their responsibilities, and a valuable opportunity to take care of themselves. If you’re a carer and would like to know more about the support services available, including local carer groups, take a look at the website for Carers UK.

Next steps

When you're ready to start looking at types of care, you can start by asking friends and family for any services or care homes they would recommend, or search online. Our top tips for finding the best quality care can also help.

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Need help?

Care needs assessment

Your local authority could help you to get the right support in place, whether you’re in need of care yourself or looking after someone else.

Find local help to you

Whether you need some help at home, or want to find out more about Care Homes in your area, our Finding Care tool can help.

Staying in your home

There are a range of housing options available that mean you could still live independently while having care close to hand.