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Short Breaks for Carers

There are multiple resources to help carers take short breaks, and the following are just some of the options available to you.

What is a Short Break?

A Short Break means you (the carer) and the person you care for being supported to have a break from your normal routine and the often stressful demands of your caring situation. Short breaks are an essential part of the overall support that families and carers need to help them care for a family member, partner or friend.

Short breaks can range from a couple of hours to longer periods depending on individual circumstances and what matters to you. It is important that you have a range of options which are flexible; sometimes you may like a break on your own, sometimes with the person you care for or with a friend, an opportunity to get time to yourself in your own home or to go away for a while.

Short breaks can benefit you through:

  • Allowing you to have a break from day-to-day routines
  • Allowing you a chance to experience new things
  • Giving you time to rest and recharge the batteries
  • Providing opportunities to meet new people and maintain friendships
  • Providing you with time for personal interests, leisure or cultural activities
  • Improved health and well-being
  • Greater independence

Will I need to pay for a Short Break?

There are many options to enable you to have a short break from your caring role, some of which don’t cost any money. Sometimes self-funding will be required and here at Angus Carers Centre, we can help you look at your options. There are grants, trust funds, Time to Live funding and, more recently, Self-Directed Support, which can be a means of funding a Short Break.


Another helpful website to search for alternative grants and funding is the website.

I’d like a Short Break but I’ve no idea where to go or what to do?

We know it can sometimes be difficult to think about taking a break from your caring role. What would I do? Where would I go? How will I pay for it? How will I ensure my loved one is properly cared for? It can help to chat to someone about these concerns and here at Angus Carers Centre we have a Short Breaks Coordinator, Lesley, who can guide you through the process.

FAQs for Short Breaks and Self-Directed Support (SDS)

We have put together a document of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) about Short Breaks and Self-Directed Support (SDS). To download this PDF document, follow this link.

One Stop Shop

We have developed a One Stop Shop where you can talk through your ideas over a coffee – here you’ll find a range of information on local services that may enable you to have a break from your caring role. We also have some ‘good news’ stories and feedback from carers who have benefited from the service – come and see how others have done it! Free internet access and support to search options is available and you can drop in any Wednesday or Thursday morning between 9.30 am – 12.30pm where our friendly volunteers will guide you through the options.

If you can’t make it in to the Centre, call or email and we can arrange to support you. Keep a look-out on our website and on our Facebook and Twitter pages for our drop-in sessions in other towns, too.

photos of the haven room

photos of the haven room


It’s been a few months now since we signed up for Respitality here in Angus and it’s going from strength to strength! We recently held a thank you event for the organisations who have generously donated gifts. This was attended by almost fifty people and a great chance for carers to hear more about Respitality. In conjunction with Shared Care Scotland, Respitality (Respite + Hospitality) connects carers’ centres with hospitality providers such as hotels, guest houses, leisure clubs and restaurants etc. The idea is that hotels, for example, become a Respitality Partner by making a gift of a short break stay for an unpaid carer and perhaps a companion. Generally these ‘gifts’ are offered in the quieter season when hospitality providers are less busy. It was piloted in 5 areas of Scotland and is now becoming well established.

Our thanks to the following establishments for supporting Respitality - Tayport Links Caravan Park, Arndean B&B and Glamis Castle, Alexandra Lodge, Edzell, Park Hotel , Montrose, Snips of Letham and from further afield Maryculter House Hotel, Aberdeen and Jury’s Inn, Royal Highland Hotel and Kingsmill Hotel in Inverness.

Click this link to see some photos from our Respitality event.

Respitality is only as successful as the generous donations from businesses and if business would like to find out more about Respitality in Angus, please email Gifts can also be pledged directly on the Shared Care Scotland website.

Some comments

“The whole process from start to finish has been great and it’s been lovely to receive the certificate and also the thank you postcard directly from the carer. We are delighted to hear that she enjoyed her stay with us. Many Thanks.” Rebecca, Maryculter House Hotel

“Thanks so much! We had a great time at the caravan which was just what we needed. Nice and relaxing with everything provided.” Debbie, carer, enjoyed a three night break courtesy of Tayport Links Caravan Park.

“It was peace and comfort of which we never enjoyed in our own home, it was like a thousand miles away from my caring role”. Florence, carer, enjoyed a 2-night break courtesy of Jury’s Inn, Inverness.

“Jean who owned the B&B was very welcoming and made our stay easy – she assisted in every way possible. We are both more relaxed and would go to other breaks without fear”. Kathleen, carer and her husband George enjoyed a stay at Arndean B&B. Jean very kindly arranged and went with them on an additional tour of Glamis Castle.

Pitlochry Bungalow

Does a few days away in Pitlochry sound appealing? The Ben, Scottish Licensed Trade Benevolent Society, has generously donated the use of one of its one-bedroomed cottages in Pitlochry for Respitality and can be hired for a cost of £70 per week. This is a one bedroomed, twin bedded self-catering facility. Please note it is not fully accessible but could be the perfect wee retreat for a carer and companion. For more information on the bungalow or to check availability or to book, please email or pop in to the One Stop Shop.

You can find out more about Respitality by visiting the Shared Care Scotland website, where there is also a short film you can watch.

To find out more about Respitality in Angus, please contact

One Stop Shop Update

We’re always looking for ways to make the One Stop Shop work for you - one stop to find out all you need to about the perfect short break. Tell us what would help you. What information do you need? Is it about accessible accommodation or perhaps community facilities and clubs? Is it about care providers or supported holidays? Whatever it is you think would help you or other carers please tell us and we’ll try and include the information in the One Stop Shop or do our best to find out for you.

The One Stop Shop is based in the Retreat, which is exactly what we hope it will be for you. A place to come along and have a cuppy whilst at the same time find out about options for Short Breaks which might give you well deserved time to yourself or time away with the person you care for.

Keep watching this space and we’ll keep you posted of developments. For more information on how to access information or if you’d like to be involved in helping to develop the ‘One Stop Shop’, please contact Lesley on 01241 439157 or email

Supported Holidays

There are a number of organisations offering the opportunity for carers and cared for to holiday together with the support of experienced staff.

'Mind for You' offers supported holidays throughout the year for people living with dementia and their relatives/carers to enjoy together, as an alternative to traditional respite.

One of our carers, Kathleen, and her husband, George, recently enjoyed a trip to Pitlochry with ‘Mind for You’.

Self Directed Support (SDS)

Now that Self Directed Support has been implemented in Angus, you may still have questions. The One Stop Shop here at Angus Carers can offer you information and guidance about SDS and your options. We can also put you in touch with a Support Broker who can talk through your options either before or after an assessment.

It’s not always easy knowing what’s available or how to go about things and you may also find it helpful to talk to other carers about their experiences with SDS, for example asking them about the providers they have used. The One Stop Shop (The Retreat) will also offer that opportunity and we’ll plan some dates in the near future.

Please remember though if you can’t manage in to the centre here in Arbroath phone us on 01241 439157 and we can arrange a time and place to suit.

Sitting / Befriending Service

Angus Carers Centre currently offer a sitting / befriending service to allow carers to have a break from their caring role. This will involve a volunteer sitter / befriender sitting with the cared-for person to allow the carer some well-deserved respite. There is no charge for this service. The "sit" may be done in the carers' own home or at the home of the cared for and will be up to two hours on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

More Resources

Shared Care Scotland provide a searchable database of further resources that may be of interest to you. You can search their database directly from here:

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Information Resources

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