Short Break Service
A story by Dundee Carers Centre
We provided grants directly to carers who live in Dundee
What Short Break Service did
We continue to use the simple application form with guidance notes which continue to assist carers and professionals applying to the fund. Panel meetings continue to be held on a regular basis to ensure a fair system was in place to allocate the funding. We continued to raise awareness with other local agencies making them aware of short breaks funding, We maintain strong links with BME carers groups.
Dundee carers centre continues to utilise the many volunteers and carer ambassadors who promote our services in the community. Dundee Carers Centre commissioned Animate to carry out short breaks research into the current and future provision of short breaks/respite for adults in Dundee, as a result of this report we have developed a new short breaks service which will look at long term sustainable short breaks for carers in Dundee.
This carers break consisted of a 2 day/ night trip to Glasgow with her daughter where the both of them were reminded of what fun was "it was my birthday, very relaxing and much laughter and good memories were created between my daughter and myself, hooray! we had kind of forgotten what fun was for a while".
This carer had a course of driving lessons and successfully passed her driving test, this enabled the carer to transport her brother to appointments much more easily than was previously the case, this has resulted in the carer having more time to herself and she is better able to balance her caring role with looking after her young family.
This carer had a course of relaxation therapies (massage) and a 6 month gym membership. This allowed the carer to feel less stressed and enjoy a life outside of her caring role. The carer stated that by keeping fit this contributed to an improvement in her health and well being.
What Dundee Carers Centre has learnedThe majority of Carers continue to prefer a short break without the cared for person. A combination of activities and hobbies are becoming more popular. Carers have indicated that they would like to be able to access short breaks on a regular basis throughout the year.
Collecting receipts and attracting carers who do not see themselves in this role continues to be a challenge. The Short Breaks team are developing a new system where most activities will be paid for by credit card or will be invoiced in the future, which should take the pressure off the Carer to supply receipts. The team will also be out in the community to make people aware about who is a Carer and what resources are available for them to access.
Younger Carers like to access a variety of activities that they can do with their peers and vouchers for these activities have been popular. e.g. Cinema/ice skating and meal vouchers.
We have been working with our partners to provide further funding to add to the funding from Shared Care Scotland, and also to provide a better service which will give regular and sustained breaks.
In the future a priority criteria may be required giving priority to those who are struggling or have not accessed the funding before.