Arrange a break from caring

Caring for someone can be very demanding and it's important for you to have a break from your caring role

Emergency help

Carers often worry about what will happen if, at short notice, they are unable to care.

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Hampshire will help you to discuss, develop and implement your own emergency plan so that you can arrange care at short notice.

Once your Emergency Plan has been completed and signed it is backed up by:

  • a 24-hour telephone line 0845 604 1577

  • information about other services available

  • and up to 48 hours of care services free of charge in the event of an emergency

Carer’s emergency card

This card, which includes emergency contact numbers, should be carried in your bag or wallet. In the event of an accident, this would help alert police officers, the ambulance service or other emergency response staff to the fact that there is also someone else in need of help.

Complete and print a copy of the carer's emergency card now.

The Carers' Information pack

Finding help yourself

There are many organisations that offer short break services that will allow you to have time to yourself, even if it's just for an hour or so. Or you could ask friends and family to help.

Good neighbour groups

The Good Neighbours Support Service provides information, guidance, development and support to over 100 independent voluntary groups in Hampshire, enabling them to provide a dependable and trustworthy service. The groups offer neighbourly help to people in their local communities, enabling people to stay independent in their own homes and helping to prevent isolation.

Some good neighbour groups may be able to help in an emergency.

Friends and family

Ask if friends and family can help you.

Care at home

If you need a short break during the day, use our care at home search to find providers who offer a ‘sitting service’. You can also search for live-in help to allow you to go away (overnight or for a longer break or holiday).

Local care homes

Many care homes offer short stay care if you need a break. Use our care homes search and select ‘Short stay (respite) under admissions. You can also enquire at care homes near to you if they offer informal day care for non-residents.


If the person you look after needs special care whilst on holiday, due to disability or other conditions, there are specialist care holiday organisations. For information, visit the social and leisure activities page.

Help from Adult Services

Take a Break Service

The Take a Break Service can only be accessed via Adult Services through a carer's assessment and is provided, under contract, by a range of providers throughout Hampshire.

This service gives carers the opportunity to have regular short breaks from caring and also gives the cared for person the chance to identify activities and outcomes they would like to achieve.

The service offers:

  • flexibility - carers can book their breaks when it suits them, a few regular hours off each week or save the hours they have been allocated for a slightly longer break

  • personalised care - before the service starts the care provider will arrange to visit to discuss what support they need to provide to the cared for person whilst the carer is out

  • access to the community - during the break the cared for person can be supported to go out to attend clubs, go for a walk, visit friends etc

  • overnight service - as an alternative to daytime breaks, allocated hours can be saved to be used for night time stays. This must be planned in advance and the care provider will arrange for a replacement carer to stay in the home to give the carer the opportunity of an undisturbed night’s sleep

  • reassurance - staff providing the short breaks are specially trained by the care provider and are police checked

The Carers' Take a Break Service  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 312kB

Shared Lives Scheme

For those assessed as eligible, Shared Lives offers carers a break from caring by providing short stays with Shared Lives carers in their own homes.

The Shared Lives provides users of the service a permanent home, a short stay, or day care in an ordinary home setting in the community.

The Shared Lives Scheme

Carer's assessment

Request a carer's assessment and discuss your needs as a carer including your need to have a longer term break.