Dementia Web - Dementia Information Resource for Oxfordshire

DementiaWeb - Dementia Information Resource for Oxfordshire

Respite Services

What Respite Services are Available Locally?

Sooner or later, carers looking after a friend or relative who has dementia are likely to appreciate a break from caring: this is called respite. Respite might be for a week, or just for an hour or two. The person with dementia may be cared for at home, in a day centre or care home, or perhaps even go on a supported holiday. Our Getting a Break section has more information.

Volunteer Befrienders

Volunteer Befrienders are people who have volunteered to come and be with the person who is cared for, while their carer takes a break for an hour or two. Further information is available from the Carers Centres.

Relief to Carers

The Relief to Carers Service (registered with CSCI for domiciliary support) is part of Oxfordshire County Council Social & Community Services. Trained care staff provide support to people who would be at risk if left on their own for more than a short period of time, to allow carer/s to have a break.

A few hours can be allocated each week to enable the carer to take a break (average is 3 hours per week). Where possible Relief to Carers try to allocate the same care assistant at each visit, in order to provide continuity. Occasional longer or overnight breaks may also be available.

Charges for the Relief to Carers service depend on the financial circumstances of the person being cared for; they will be financially assessed.

Due to limitations on the availability of this service, referrals are normally only accepted from Social and Community Services Care Managers.

Contact details:

Access to Information Services Team
Tel 0845 050 7666
Open: 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Thursday
8.30am to 4.00pm, Friday

Respite in a Care Home

The easiest way to arrange a Respite period in a care home is through Social & Community Services respite beds. These are beds in certain care homes which Social & Community Services pay for throughout the year, in order to make them available for respite stays. Charges will depend on the financial circumstances of the person being cared for, who will be financially assessed. This respite can be arranged some months in advance, through your Care Manager or Community Psychiatric Nurse.

Social & Community Services -  Care Services Placement Team are able to give advice to self-funders. They can share their knowledge about private respite care availability in the county and provide the contact details of Care Home.

Contact details:

Anne Curtis
Melanie Hugues-Ramos
Social & Community Services Care Services Placement Team
Knights Court, 21, Between Towns Road, Cowley, Oxford OX4 3LX

Office hours:
8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Thursday
8.30am to 4.00pm, Friday
Tel.: 01865 323440
Fax: 01865 783333

E-mail :

Respite care for: older people; dementia; residential care; nursing care.
Social worker will refer clients to us to book our block respite bed.
We can also give advice for the general public

Alternatively, if someone is self-funding, you may wish to approach care homes privately to enquire about respite stays. However in practice this may prove difficult, as many care homes like to keep their beds full for economic reasons. To find out which care homes in Oxfordshire are known to provide respite beds contact Liz Barry, from the Alzheimer's Society Oxfordshire Branch, on 01865 876508.

Our Care Homes section has information about obtaining care homes details.

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Funding Respite

Social & Community Services Care Services Placement Team

Oxfordshire Social & Community Services Department will fund respite care for some people. Charges for services depend on the financial circumstances of the person being cared for; they will need to be financially assessed.

To search for a vacancy in a care home in Oxfordshire:

  • go to the Care Home Vacancy Information website where you will be able to search for a vacancy by location, type of care, room type or other criteria.
  • if you would like to search for a home click on Home Search on the top right of the screen.
  • once you have completed the search, clicking on Create Information Pack at the bottom of the screen allows you to print out the information you have selected.

Time for Carers Funds

If the person with dementia is self-funding, carers sometimes find it problematic to arrange respite care, as this has to be paid for.
Limited non-means-tested funds are available to help with this.

Carers' Special Grant money is administered through the three carers centres in Oxfordshire to provide various funds, including respite funds to enable carers to take a break from caring.

Oxfordshire Carers Centres:

North and West Oxfordshire Carers Centre
27 Horsefair
OX16 0AE

Tel.: 01295 264545
Fax: 01295 270660

Open Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 10-4
Closed Tuesdays
Telephone help Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri 9am to 5pm

Web.: (North & West Oxfordshire)

Oxford Carers Centre
174a Cowley Road

Tel.: 01865 205192
Fax: 01865 242569

South and Vale Carers Centre
3-5 Lydalls Road
OX11 7HX

Tel.: 01235 510212
Fax: 01235 512198

Web.: (South & Vale)

Further Information

Our Getting a Break section has more information about different ways of arranging respite care and taking a break from caring.

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