Rethinking Respite


In 2016, the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales published her Dementia: More Than Just Memory Loss report.  One of the key areas of concern identified was the lack of flexible, enabling and personalised respite support.

This issue is now being explored further by the Commissioner through a piece of work called Rethinking Respite.  Whilst looking at the barriers to obtaining respite, the main focus will be thinking about respite differently, beyond traditional offerings such as residential care and day services.

There are various aspects to the project, including engagement opportunities in 2018 with people affected by dementia. The Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester has been commissioned to carry out a literature review and an analysis of good practice.

The Commissioner wants to ensure that the Rethinking Respite report includes good practice that provides meaningful respite/short break opportunities for people affected by dementia.  The kind of examples that are being sought:

  • might be a break of a few days, a few hours, or a way to enable people to experience even shorter moments of quality time
  • might be provided to the person living with dementia, to the person caring for them - or to both together 
  • may or may not be ‘building based’
  • might take place in someone’s own home, somewhere local or be a holiday opportunity elsewhere
  • may or may not be part of a group
  • may have been delivered in or outside of Wales
  • might still be operating or might have run in the past

Wherever or however it is delivered, the essential thing is that it delivers positive experiences and positive outcomes for people affected by dementia. Please submit any good practice examples by 8 December 2017 via the online pro-forma:  

An electronic/postal version is also available, if preferred.  

If you have any questions, please contact either: 

Dr Shirley Evans, Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester: 

Ruth Chamberlain, Health, Housing and Social Care Lead, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales: // 03442 640670