Respite care may involve providing alternative family or institutional care for a person with a disability in order to enable the carer to take a short break, a holiday or a rest. It can cover very short-term respite, for example, a "babysitter" for an evening, or a much longer arrangement for a holiday. Schemes of respite care are sometimes called 'Breakaway' or 'Friendship' schemes.
Respite care or temporary care may be based in the community or in an institution. In practice, respite care is provided to a varying degree at a number of locations around the country - in some cases by your Health Service Executive (HSE) Area and in others by local or national voluntary organisations.
Care is provided at a number of locations around the country for people with
different disabilities. The person being cared for may be admitted to a HSE
nursing home for a period of two weeks. Respite care is organised through your
nurse or family
doctor (GP). Alternative care with a family is sometimes available for
children with disabilities, whereas institutional care is usually provided for
older people. Sometimes, summer camp arrangements can be made for children with
disabilities. These are funded by local HSE Areas at no cost to individuals.
Care Grant is an annual cash payment made by the Department of Social
Protection to certain carers for use as they wish.
Apply to the Disability Services Manager in your Local Health Office and/or to a voluntary organisation that caters for people with the relevant disability.
The National Home-sharing and
Short-breaks Network is an association of people and organisations engaged
in using, promoting and providing host family based services for Irish citizens
with intellectual disability, physical disability and autism.
You can obtain a Respite Care Grant application form from your local Social Welfare Office or Citizens Information Centre. Application forms are also available from the Department of Social Protection leaflet request telephone line. Locall 1890 20 23 25
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.