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Preface content

Respite care

What is respite care for the elderly?

Respite care is simply a service that enables you to take a break from your duties as a full-time caregiver. It allows the person you care for to continue to receive the support you’d typically give them on a temporary basis.

Usually, these breaks range from a few hours to a few weeks, and they’re arranged in advance. However, emergency respite care services allow them to be organised at much shorter notice – allowing the person you care for to be looked after should you become ill or suffer an accident.

Here, at Sanctuary Care, we offer person-centred respite care for elderly people in our homes across England and Scotland. Our devoted care teams are there to ensure your dependent or loved one receives all the exceptional support they need in a warm and welcoming environment.

You can pre-book a respite care home break with us for one to six weeks. We also offer emergency respite care – so, you can rest safe in the knowledge that the person you care for will continue to get all the support they need.

Why is respite care important?

For carers

Caring for an elderly parent or loved one at home can be extremely rewarding. However, it can be physically and mentally tiring too. Sometimes carers need a short-term carers break, where they can take a well-earned rest from their daily responsibilities.

By taking a short carers break, you can:

  • rest and recuperate – time away allows you to maintain your own mental health and sense of well-being. It can help to reduce stress and strengthen your relationship with the person you care for.
  • manage your own life commitments - it’s easy to overlook your own life when you’re dedicated to supporting someone else with theirs. Respite care frees up that valuable time for you to see to your personal needs.
  • prevent social isolation – juggling caring and family commitments can be extremely challenging. You can start to feel isolated. With a short break, you can spend time with friends and other family members – which can help to alleviate feelings of resentment or burnout.

For those receiving respite care

If you're the individual receiving the support, a respite care break could be hugely beneficial for you too. A short break can offer you:

  • a change of scenery – you’ll have the opportunity to receive support in a new environment, with new people to interact with.
  • a chance to socialise with like-minded people – in a residential care home environment, you’ll find there are plenty of people with similar life experiences, hobbies and interests. It provides an opportunity to make new friends.
  • a chance to refresh – it’s easy to feel guilty or like a burden when you’re reliant on a family member or loved one for support. Meeting new people can help to alleviate these feelings and make you feel good.
  • an experience of care home life – here, at Sanctuary, many of our respite care residents have gone on to live with us permanently. A short-term stay gives the perfect taster of life within our care homes.

Map showing all Sanctuary Care Homes across England and Scotland

Find a respite care home near you 

Sanctuary Care is a not-for-profit provider of respite care services throughout England and Scotland. All of our surplus income is reinvested into what matters most to us – our homes, our staff and our residents.

View our respite care services


Caregivers considering respite homes

We understand it’s challenging to let someone else take over the responsibility of caring. You can rest assured our highly experienced teams will be there every step of the way. We’ll help your loved one to settle in, support them to enjoy the companionship of our residents and staff, take part in activities and enjoy delicious home-cooked meals.

Our respite care homes give you the chance to recharge your batteries with the peace of mind of knowing your loved one is in safe hands. Whether it’s just a couple of weeks or longer, having a break from care responsibilities allows you to spend quality time with friends and family or go on a trip yourself.

Our Enquiry Support Team advisors can answer any questions you have about pre-bookable or shorter notice respite care, call free-phone 0800 046 4815.


Lime Tree Court manager dancing with resident


Carer Rachael Rock and resident Jerry O'Driscoll


Pre-bookable respite care

Many of our residential and nursing care homes offer the option of pre-booking respite care in advance. So, if you have a holiday planned or want to catch up with friends and family, our residential respite care service can be booked to alleviate your worries and allow you to switch off.

Some of our respite residents pre-book these temporary care breaks months in advance, returning to stay with us time and time again.

Convalescent care

Sometimes, people need a little help following a spell in the hospital to recuperate. This may be to receive support following an operation or illness, which is something a nursing home with respite care offers.

Many of our homes offer short stays for recovery, re-enablement, and convalescence, helping people to get back on their feet in a safe and supportive setting.


What does respite care include?

If you are considering a short-term care home stay, you can expect to receive the same care and support as our permanent residents.

We will carefully assess your needs and create a detailed care plan, allowing our team to provide tailored, personal care, which can include support such as dressing, bathing, and help with administering medication.

You will have your own furnished bedroom, often with an en-suite bathroom. Our devoted staff will support you in every way, helping you to settle in and enjoy the companionship of others, take part in engaging activities, enjoy delicious home-cooked food, and even launder your clothes.

Read our respite care checklist


Interior of a Sanctuary Care bedroom

Emergency respite services

As well as pre-bookable respite care breaks, many of our homes offer breaks at very short notice. This type of service is available for those who might have encountered a family emergency or illness.

In addition, our Enquiry Support Team advisors are only a phone call away and will be able to support you if you suddenly need emergency care.

Call our enquiry support team


Arranging and funding respite care

Depending on your individual circumstances and care requirements, the way in which care will be paid for will vary. Sometimes paying respite care costs will be met by you privately, or funding for respite care may be provided by your local authority. For more information, visit our ‘Paying for Care’ page.

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