Dementia Web - Dementia Information Resource for Oxfordshire

DementiaWeb - Dementia Information Resource for Oxfordshire

Respite in the Home

Respite at Home

Respite Care doesn't have to mean a week in a care home, it can mean putting arrangements in place for care to be provided at home, to allow the main carer to take a break for anything from an hour to a week or more.

Try to accept offers of help from friends and family as much as possible, even if it seems unnecessary in the early stages of dementia. The more involved friends and family can be, the easier it will be for them to spend time with the person with dementia. If the main carer refuses early offers of help they may find that friends and family do not feel confident to relieve them of responsibility from time to time as dementia progresses.

Respite doesn't have to be only an occasional thing; it may mean increasing care provision so that the main carer can get out of the house every day, or attend a group once a week, for example.

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 Service

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

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Arranging Home Care

Home care visits in Oxfordshire are provided by many different care agencies. These may be arranged by a Social & Community Services Care Manager, following a Community care assessment, or arranged direct with the agencies if someone is self-funding.

Inspection reports for care services are available on the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) website.

Contacting Care Agencies Privately

Care agencies can be approached direct to obtain care for people who are self-funding. Different agencies will vary in the services they offer (e.g. night care), their charges, and area covered: so you may need to approach several agencies.

The Commission for Social Care Inspection has an up to date list of home care agencies in Oxfordshire that can be printed from their website. Alternatively a postcode search enables you to search a set radius from your home. If you would like a copy of the list of home care agencies posted to you, telephone the CSCI Customer Service Unit on 0845 015 0120.

Live-in Carers

Some home-care agencies can provide live-in carers, which may provide an alternative to going into a Care Home for some people with dementia, or reassurance if family are going away.

Agencies providing live-in paid carers can be found by using the United Kingdom Home Care Association search facility, or telephone 020 8288 1551 during office hours.


Crossroads Oxfordshire provides a service to support the person with care needs and their carers. A Carer Support Worker talks to the carer to find out what support is required and when, in order to give the carer some time to themselves. Trained care workers then give personal/social/domestic care at home. This can vary from a one hour visit to live in care, and is tailored to meet the individual needs of the carer and the cared for person.

Crossroads take private referrals as well as through GPs, CPNs, Care Managers, etc.

Crossroads Oxfordshire contact details:

Crossroads Oxfordshire
3 Hurst Street

Office open:
8.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday

Tel.: 01865 260280
Fax: 01865 260290

Emergency referrals out of hours and w/e: 07831 530947

Help at Home Support Service

"Home Helps" - in the tradition of undertaking general housework, laundry, and meal preparation, whilst keeping a watchful eye - are not available through Oxfordshire County Council. For many people with dementia this has left a big gap in care provision, which Guideposts Trust is now trying to fill with the Help at Home Care and Support service.

Help at Home provides practical assistance to help people maintain independence in their own homes. Support depends on what the individual requires, but personal care (washing and dressing etc), is not currently provided.

The range of services Help at Home offers includes:

  • Light cleaning duties
  • Preparing a light meal
  • Assisting with laundry
  • Providing carers with a short break
  • Providing a day, evening and night sitting service
  • Assistance on hospital discharge
  • Shopping
  • Collecting pensions/prescriptions
  • Assistance to attend appointments

Cost is £10.50 per hour (minimum two hours a week), plus mileage expenses.

The Help at Home service is currently in the process of being rolled-out across Oxfordshire. Referrals can be taken from self, relatives/carers, or professionals.

Contact details:

Gill Hunt, Home Support Co-ordinator
Help at Home Care and Support
Guideposts Trust
Two Rivers
Station Lane
OX28 4BH

Tel.: 01993 772886

Email: [email protected]

Back to Top : funded and managed by Guideposts with support from the Big Lottery Fund