Can In Home Respite Care Benefit You, Your Family, and Your Loved One?

Chris Williams
November 3, 2023

Whether you’re a professional carer, a family caregiver, or someone who receives care, you might be looking for in home respite care. All carers need breaks, but when someone’s usual care worker can’t support them, it can be an anxious time. However, it can be a relief to think that care can be provided in a familiar setting. 

In this article, we’ll explain what in home respite care is and how it can help both paid and unpaid carers, as well as the person who receives care.

What is in home respite care?

In home respite care is where a person is cared for in their own home by someone who isn’t their usual carer. It gives carers a chance to take a break while their loved one remains in a familiar environment. You may need respite care services for a few hours or for a longer time.

There are lots of different types of respite care. These include respite care breaks, day care or other solutions where the person moves to a care home. However, in home respite care may be the easiest option for your loved one. It’s especially useful in situations where they can’t or don’t want to leave their home.

Respite care might happen for a few hours during the day or night, or it might last longer.

You might be looking for respite care because:

  • You need a short time away from your loved one on an occasional basis. You may need to go to the shops or attend an appointment.
  • You need a longer break from your caring responsibilities. Perhaps you’re planning to go on holiday, be admitted to hospital, or are recovering from an illness.
  • The person you care for cannot be left alone and you need to go out to work or look after children or other family members.
  • You need to make sure that you get regular sleep and breaks for your own mental and physical health.
  • A carer has suddenly been taken ill and is unable to provide care, and you need emergency respite care.
  • You are the person who receives care, and you want to ensure that your primary carer is well rested and has time for themselves. 

Whatever your reasons for looking for in home respite care, it’s a choice that can have a lot of benefits.

How can in home respite care help family caregivers?

Caring for a family member or friend can be particularly hard. As well as the physical work that goes into providing personal care, you will be dealing with the emotional side. Your relationship with your loved one may have changed as a result of their additional needs. You may have worries about the future, their prognosis, and managing finances.

Lots of family carers may feel guilty for wanting to take a break. But it’s important to look after yourself. Your own needs still matter. And you’ll be a better caregiver for your loved one if you’re healthy and rested. 

Rest and recuperation

Providing personal care can be a physically tiring job. You may be doing a lot of heavy lifting. Your sleep may be disturbed if your loved one needs help in the night.

Your physical and mental health will both suffer if you’re constantly tired and don’t get enough rest. Don’t wait until you’ve become ill to arrange respite care for your loved one.

You could employ a night care assistant to provide in home respite care to ensure that you can sleep. Or you could arrange for respite care while you take a few hours or even days for yourself.   

Tend to personal errands and needs

Even though caring for your loved one might take priority, daily life still continues around you. There are times when you will need to attend appointments, go to the shops, take your children to school or run other errands. A respite carer can look after your loved one while you do these things. 

Relieve pressure and stress

You may be caring for a family member while working or looking after children. If you live with the person you care for, it might feel like you never get a break. Or if you live apart, you might worry when you’re not there.

If you’re feeling particularly anxious or drained, it might be a sign that you’re suffering from burnout. Family caregivers are at particular risk for caregiver burnout.

Some signs that you might be experiencing caregiver burnout include:

  • Feeling particularly anxious or depressed
  • Feeling irritable or impatient
  • Being extra tired or lethargic
  • No longer enjoying things that used to bring you joy
  • Insomnia
  • Appetite changes
  • A weakened immune system

Caregiver burnout can have physical effects as well as impacting your mental health. You might find that you get more infections or start to experience migraines, for example.

Taking regular breaks can reduce your risk of developing burnout. Not only will it help your own health, but it will allow you to be a better carer when you are present. 

How can in home respite care help professional carers?

Professional carers can also benefit from in home respite care. It’s especially important for carers who live in with their client, or caregivers who are the sole or main carer for a client.

It’s easy to feel that you are the only care worker who can help your client. However, a respite care service can follow your client’s personal care plan while you take a break. 

Carers’ daily breaks

As a paid carer, you are legally entitled to breaks. Even if you live in with your client, you cannot and should not be expected to provide 24-hour care alone.

If a client can’t be left alone, many live-in carers try to ensure that their breaks line up with visits from family or friends. However, if there isn’t anyone else to support your client, you might suggest that they have a temporary carer visit them during this time.   

Night-time care

If you provide care throughout the day, you need to be well-rested. If you live with your client, it’s very normal to be on call throughout the night. However, if they regularly need support during the night, it’s not ideal for your sleep to be constantly disturbed.

If your client needs support throughout the day and night, you might suggest that they employ a night carer while you continue to help them in the day, or vice versa. 


All workers in the UK are entitled to at least 28 days of annual leave each year (this can be pro rata if you work part time). If you are the sole or primary caregiver for your client, they may need in home respite care while you take annual leave. 

How can in home respite care help your loved one?

If you receive care from a family member or a professional caregiver, having in home respite care available means that you don’t need to worry about leaving your home if they can’t support you for a while. 

Prevent social isolation

Nearly two-thirds of people with a disability say that they feel chronically lonely. If you find it hard to leave your home, and only see your immediate family or regular carer, it’s easy to understand how this happens. Having replacement care workers to visit you, either occasionally or on a regular basis, can introduce more people into your social circle. 

Improving your relationship

When you receive care from a loved one, it can change your relationship. If your spouse is caring for you, you may feel that you’re no longer romantic partners. If you’re now receiving care from your child, you might be struggling to deal with the role-reversal in your relationship. While your loved one is providing personal care, they may be more tired and anxious than usual.

Having in home respite care means that your primary caregiver can take some time away from caring. This might be time that they use to leave the house and take a break. Alternatively, it might be time that you spend with them, knowing that they won’t be responsible for providing your personal care. 

Providing peace of mind

If you have just one carer, you might worry about what would happen if they were to become ill or otherwise couldn’t look after you. Emergency respite care can be arranged, but if you have a regular respite care arrangement, you can get to know and trust your care worker before it’s an emergency.   

In home respite care

In home respite care services provide support to someone while their usual carer is unavailable. Whether they’re needed for a few hours occasionally, or as a regular arrangement to ensure that a family carer gets consistent breaks, they can provide valuable peace of mind to family caregivers, professional care workers and the person who receives care.

Respite care funding options and costs can vary. Sometimes your local authority may pay for respite care. You may be eligible to apply for a grant. Alternatively, some people may choose to fund respite care themselves.

Even if you don’t think that you need in home respite care services right away, it can be a good idea to have a plan in place for what you would do if you were unable to care for your loved one. Arranging emergency respite care if you become ill or otherwise can’t provide care is possible, but it can be very stressful at an already difficult time.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is in home respite care?

In home respite care is where someone is looked after in their own home by someone who isn’t their usual carer. It might be for a planned time while the usual caregiver takes a break, or in an emergency if the primary caregiver is ill or otherwise cannot provide support.

When might I need a respite care assistant?

You might need a respite care assistant if you receive personal care and your usual caregiver is not available. This might be short time while they run errands or go to an appointment, or for longer while they recover from an illness or go on holiday. If you need support throughout the day and night, you may need a respite care assistant during the night so that your primary caregiver can sleep.

What is the difference between respite care and a care home?

Respite care is intended to last for a short time while someone’s usual caregiver is unable to support them. It might be delivered in their own home, a day centre, or in a care home. Care homes are a setting that can provide short or long term care for people with personal care needs.

Do you have to pay for respite care in the UK?

Some people will pay for respite care. However, Some people who are receiving respite care may be eligible for local authority funding or grants from charities. In addition, some respite care may be offered for free by family members or friends.

Let us be your helping hand

Get in touch with Tiggo Care today to see how we can help you or your loved one.

Find Care