Social care for carers in Northern Ireland Advice & Support for:
Support available for carers in Northern Ireland
Carers often give significant support to the person they support. This can sometimes lead to the carer needing support themselves.
If after an assessment, you are found to be eligible for services, what is put in place could be anything that could help you to care for an autistic child or adult or to have a break. It may take the form of:
physical help - such as assistance in the home, help with gardening, help with laundry
other forms of support - such as trips/holidays, travel assistance, training, or short breaks (see below for more information about short breaks).
a direct payment so you can purchase agreed services or items yourself
A Direct payment is money given directly to carers instead of services. The aim is to give more choice and control to the person receiving the money and more flexibility. For example, some carers have used their direct payment to purchase driving lessons, pay for gym classes or to pay a friend or relative to look after the person they care for so they can have a break.
Short breaks, sometimes known as respite, allow you to take a break from your caring responsibilities. Many carers of autistic adults and children really value having some time to themselves when they aren’t required to focus on the needs of the person they care for.
The person you care for may spend some time away from the home or you may spend time away, knowing that the person you care for is being looked after. The type of short breaks available vary significantly depending on the age of the person and the level of their needs.
Services could include:
home-based respite care – eg a sitting service for a few hours a week or a personal assistant to stay overnight
family-based short-term respite care - this is where a disabled person is linked with a family who they then go to stay with on a regular basis