Shared Care Scotland is the national carer organisation focused on improving short breaks for all of Scotland’s unpaid carers.
Research is an essential part of this work: it helps ensure that short breaks policy and provision is better informed by the experience of carers and cared-for people and that those responsible for the commissioning and delivery of short breaks have access to the current best evidence on ‘what works’.
The report shows that taking a person-centred approach – supporting carers to have choice and control in short breaks – brings sustainable benefits and can improve their financial, physical and mental wellbeing as well as providing similar benefits to those they care for.
What also emerges from the report is that it is not just the break itself that can lead to positive outcomes, but the process of accessing support can also achieve additional benefits. This includes reducing isolation, helping carers feel valued, and providing that essential preventative support that can help to sustain the caring role.
It is hoped that the report provides important evidence to help reinforce good practice but, above all, to show that supporting carers to embed pockets of respite throughout their days can be fundamental in helping them have ‘Time to Live’.