Planning Respite Care Ahead of the Summer Holidays?

Are you all set to make sure you're taking time off over the summer as well?

According to the latest research from Carers UK, one in eight people living in the UK – 6.5 million people in total – are carers. This means they provide crucial care for parents, children, partners, friends or neighbours. In fact, of these carers, more than one million currently provide care for multiple people.

While the types of care being provided can vary quite significantly, one thing that most carers agree on is the need to take a break. This can be especially important for ‘sandwich carers’, who are providing care for an older parent and younger children, so demand for respite care services grows ahead of the summer holidays.

In this blog post, we take a closer look at the challenges carers face, and the role that those in professional care worker jobs can play in allowing you to take a much-needed break from your care responsibilities.

The Growing Need for Respite Care

First, it is important to clarify what we mean by the term ‘respite care’. According to the NHS website, it refers to taking a break from care duties, while the person you usually care for is looked after by someone else.

It is also vital to understand that no matter how much you love the person you are caring for, and regardless of how much you genuinely enjoy spending time with them, the role of a caregiver is extremely stressful and can become completely overwhelming without appropriate breaks. Acknowledging this is a crucial first step.

Mind have produced their own guide, How to Cope as a Carer, which highlights some of the challenges carers face. It points out that stress and worry are common problems and can have far-reaching consequences, impacting upon sleep and potentially leading to a number of mental health problems.

Social isolation is another common issue, as are physical health problems and financial issues. These financial concerns can be worsened by the need to give up work in order to take on care responsibilities. However, in some cases, acquiring respite care can be enough to help you to cope with the balance and stay in work.
respite care at abbots care

A ‘Sandwich Generation’ of Carers

One of the reasons why demand for respite care services is growing is because of the growing phenomenon of ‘sandwich care’. This occurs when a carer is simultaneously responsible for providing care to older parents and younger children. According to one study, women aged 40-60 are being hit the hardest in this regard.

For this so-called ‘sandwich generation’, not only do the usual stresses associated with care apply, there is also a difficult balancing act required to provide appropriate care for all parties. This can be especially problematic during the summer holidays, when children are away from school for six weeks, requiring care all day, every day.

When planning respite care ahead of the summer holidays, the NHS recommends that carers and those being cared for both undergo an assessment from their local council. You can find more information about that here.

It is also important to think about the type of respite care you actually need. For example, you may simply require a day-sitting service a few times a week, freeing you up to carry out vital daily tasks. However, you might need overnight care, freeing you up to sleep, or you might even need short-term residential care.

Respite Services from Abbots Care

In many instances, the best option is to turn to a professional agency, which is fully equipped to provide support through trained care workers. For carers who are living in the Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Dorset regions, Abbots Care can provide this kind of expert assistance, allowing you to take a well-earned break.

We have more than 30 years’ worth of professional care experience, and all of those we employ in professional care worker jobs are fully trained and signed up to the Care Commitment. We are also accredited by the Care Quality Commission, Skills for Care and the United Kingdom Home Care Association.

You can view our most recent inspection report from the Care Quality Commission here.

By turning to our comprehensive adult care and respite care services, our skilled team will be able to provide you with all of the support you need, so that you will be able to take a break this summer. We are able to offer everything from domiciliary care and overnight care, right through to more specialist dementia care services.

The Final Word

Whether you are a sandwich carer, looking to balance caring for children with caring for an elderly parent, or you are a carer seeking some valuable time away from your care duties, the summer is an ideal time to explore respite care options. At Abbots Care, we offer a professional service, via fully qualified care workers.

If you would like to find out more about acquiring respite care through Abbots Care, please get in touch.


“The Care staff that are supporting my Mum through her Care Needs are extremely lovely and Supportive. Our Mum has cancer and she is receiving the most excellent and caring support from all Staff. We would just like to say a Huge thank you as we know that there is more difficult times ahead for us as a family. ”

Cancer CareChild of Service User, Buckinghamshire Branch

See what our service users think