Read the visual transcript for this video.

Carers of disabled family members do an incredible job, but providing round-the-clock care to loved ones without any time out is exhausting.

Like everybody else, carers deserve a break from their responsibilities. 

They need time to rest, reconnect with family and friends and work on other tasks. 
But right now, more than 65% of carers say they’re burnt out or exhausted.

“I would just love a few hours or days where I could relax, and not have to be so alert and constantly thinking about someone’s needs. It would really help me to unwind.”

Lowri, full-time carer to Mia. Read Lowri’s story.

How can carers get a break?

In order to take a break from their responsibilities, carers need respite care for the people they care for. 

This could be a few hours support for the person being cared for to do fun activities, or longer care overnight. This means that the disabled person also gets a break, and is properly cared for.

Respite care is offered by local authorities. But many people struggle to access the care they’re entitled to.

A lack of long-term funding, poor information and support and a gap in specialist services is leading families of disabled people to burn out. 

One in five family carers of disabled people can’t remember the last time they had a break. 

We want all family carers to be able to take a break when they need it.  

Ruth, a white woman with brown hair and glasses, smiling.

“Accessing respite care is a tough process. You don’t have to do it alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

Ruth Bennett-Anderson, operations manager at Sense. Find out Ruth’s top tips for accessing respite care.

What we’re calling for

  • Long-term funding from the government for respite care.
  • Consistent information and support around respite care from local authorities. 
  • More awareness of how invaluable carers are, and why respite care is so important.

Stories from carers

A huge thank you to all the carers that helped support our campaign and get the message out across TV, radio, newspapers and social media.

A woman looks up from the book she is reading her son

Laura and Matty

The support Matty receives at Sense enabled Laura to work as a dinner lady at the local secondary school. “Matty’s amazing and loves life. But supporting him is a fulltime job. It can be hard.”
A woman leans on her daughter's wheelchair and both smile at the camera

Julie and Natalie

Julie lives in Ramsey with her husband, Andy, and daughter, Natalie. Natalie attends Sense college which she loves but additional respite gives Julie time to recharge as a carer. “When you get that weekend you cram everything in and on the Monday morning we’re knackered but it’s a good knackered. Sometimes we go away or we’ll go off for a big walk with the dog.”
Three young children surround and hug their mother

Hajara, Talhah and Habiba

Talhah helps out a lot at home, as a young carer for his sister and attends Sense’s siblings and young carers project. Hajara explains, “Now, I know Talhah’s got a support system, an outlet, and he’s able to have fun and be creative and explore different things.”
Two young women sit on a bench in a garden, one with her arm around the other.

Chantel and Madison

“Madison is a fiercely independent child with a pretty strong will. Caring for her requires patience and understanding. The support Sense provides helps us to do things we wouldn’t normally do, like shopping, resting, and catching up with things that normally get neglected.”
A young man and his mother sit holding hands

Morag and Harry

Morag lives in Lincolnshire with her sons Harry, 26, and Edward, 24. “As Harry’s carer, I constantly have to be there for him. I manage all of his support. Respite helps me carry on. The only other option is full-time care, and I’ve never considered that.”
A little girl cuddles her mum

Josie and Paige

“I have to do everything for Paige and make sure I’m constantly watching her. The only time I really get a break is when hospice staff come over to the house for a few hours, to help Paige take a bath. I would love a break. But I am so grateful for my girls and that Paige is still with us.”
A young man and his dad beam at the camera

Saeed and Azhar

“As a family, we care for Azhar 24/7. There’s not enough support for family carers. Over the years we’ve had so many battles securing support. It wears you down and you forget about yourself.”
A young girl stands in a garden with her dog while her mum kneels beside her

Rebecca and Nicola

“As a carer I’m burnt out. There’s no time to recuperate. Respite means a complete break, but there’s always other things that need doing – writing care plans, sorting out meetings. I don’t get any sort of break. Disabled children and families desperately need support.”
A boy smiles as his mum picks him up for a kiss

Carla and Cameron

“Getting help has felt like a real battle. I’ve been repeatedly declined overnight stays, which would help me get a proper night’s sleep. Cameron’s needs are so varied and so changeable, one night he can sleep through no problem then the next he’ll be up multiple times in the night.”