Everyone needs a break from time to time, the opportunity to relax and get away from your daily routine. Just having a change of scenery is often all it takes to make you feel much happier and optimistic about life.
If you need care and support, or are caring for someone who does, the idea of taking a holiday or even a weekend away may seem out of the question, especially if you plan to take them with you.
Going on holiday
Before you rule out going on holiday, be aware that there is plenty of support available, including organisations which can advise you on accessible travel and accommodation, including travel abroad.
The Equality Act 2010 means that disabled people have the right to access places like airports and railway stations. Transport providers must also ensure their information and services are accessible, e.g. if you let the train company know in advance, they will arrange for a porter to help someone in a wheelchair at the station.
The consumer charity Rica advises older and disabled people who need care and support while travelling to plan and prepare before setting off on a holiday or journey. Public Transport: a guide for older and disabled travellers contains lots of helpful information and tips from regular travellers (printed copies are available).
Breaks from caring
Of course, taking a break does not necessarily mean going away on holiday. If you are caring for someone, you might just need a short break to recharge your batteries so you can carry on in your caring role – this is sometimes also called 'respite care'.
If you have not already done so, it’s worth contacting your local council and asking for a carer’s assessment. A social worker will assess your needs (and the needs of the person you are caring for if this has not previously happened) and may be able to arrange overnight care or perhaps a longer period of care, for example a week in a residential setting, to enable you to enjoy a break from your caring responsibilities.