In this section we dispel some common myths about short breaks and respite care.
Myth – “Respite must be taken within my own local authority area.”
Fact – This is most certainly not the case. Whilst in most cases your short break will still be purchased and arranged by your local authority you do not have to take your respite / short break provision within your local authority boundaries.
Myth – “Respite means you have to spend time apart.”
Fact – Whilst many breaks do give you the chance to enjoy time apart, you may choose to take it accompanied by your carer(s), friends or other loved ones. The break could give you the opportunity to enjoy quality time together away from your normal routine with additional support.
Myth – “Respite means you have to go away overnight somewhere.”
Fact – Whilst many breaks do involve staying away from your home overnight, this need not be the case. It all depends on individual circumstances. One break could mean you getting additional support in your home while your carer goes out. Or it could involve someone helping you to attend or access public facilities etc. The list of possibilities is endless.
Myth – “Holiday breaks are not respite.”
Fact – Short breaks and respite care can be provided in a variety of ways including holiday breaks. The important point is that the break meets the assessed needs of the carer and/or the person receiving care. Where and how the break is provided is not the issue! There is no reason therefore that a holiday break should not be supported by a local authority where they have identified a need for respite. Indeed holiday breaks are specifically mentioned in government guidance on planning short breaks.
Myth – “If I receive Direct Payments to purchase respite then I can only purchase this from a service provider who is approved by the local authority and is registered with the Care Inspectorate.”
Fact – In many instances individuals who get Direct Payments, which includes funding respite / short breaks, do choose providers approved by their own local authority who are registered with the Care Inspectorate. However local authorities cannot insist choice is restricted to such providers. The individual is free to purchase services that meet their needs in innovative ways. The local authority’s role is to satisfy itself that your assessed needs are being met by your chosen provider and that the funding made available via Direct Payments is being spent appropriately and cost effectively.
To see the different types of service available in Scotland, see our Directory of Services (click here )