Caring for someone

The support available to carers

Local Support

In Shetland we can offer different options for people but we would encourage people to think of ways that would enable them to take a break that would meet their needs. Some of the support will require that the cared for person or carer meets the eligibility criteria but other breaks are offered to carers to prevent them reaching crisis. Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS) Carers Centre or Social work can have a discussion with you about what may be the right break option for you.

Short Breaks

Taking a short break is about people taking time out from their usual routine. Often the easiest way for people to take breaks is by getting support from their own family and friends. Ensuring that the carers involved with a person have shortbreaks is really important to ensuring that the carer can continue to carry out this caring role.

In Shetland someone can help you to identify and plan ways of you taking a shortbreak by contacting any of the following:-
Shetland Islands Council Duty Social Work  - 01595 744400
Voluntary Action Shetland – your local carers centre – 01595 743923
Or by speaking to the coordinator of the care plan for the person that you care for.

If you meet the eligibility criteria then you may be offered your shortbreak through self directed support.

Attending groups and activities 

There are a number of different groups and activities in our local communities. It is important to encourage the carer or the cared for person to attend as these provide more sustainable support for the future. Community support  helps you and the person you care for build up relationships with people who may be able to offer small amounts of support.

There are also opportunities for cared for people to attend specialist groups. Ability Shetland, Mind Your Head, Alzheimer Scotland and Voluntary Action Shetland all offer a number of groups aimed at people with disabilities, holiday clubs, sibling or young carer group, families support for children with additional support needs, groups for people with dementia, carers and activities encouraging people to have better mental health.

In order to attend an activity a cared for person may need the support of an outreach worker or through personal assistants employed using direct payments. Or there may be opportunities from schemes such as Befriending to help them attend the activity or outing.

Funding for Leisure breaks 

These are co-ordinated by Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS) so that people get the opportunity either through money or a gift to help them have a break away from their usual activity. These are called shortbreak Scheme and Respitality.

Replacement Care

We have a number of opportunities provided by the local council and organisations such as Shetland Care Attendant Scheme. These are open to adults and children and offer the chance for the cared for person to be looked after in their own home or in one of the residential homes through either day care or overnight stays.  This will require an assessment process to ensure that the cared for person or the carer meets the eligibility.

It gave me a chance to relax, get a full night of sleep, and not to worry about Mum. I very much appreciate the grant - I would probably not have taken this break on my own otherwise. – Carer supporting her mum living with dementia


National support resources
Shared Care Scotland
Take a Break
Euan’s Guide

For more details about local and national services please look at the our website