What to do in 30 minutes

We have carers coming in 4 times a day for 30 minutes. They say they are here for me as much as for mum. So, I can nip to the supermarket or the library, I can pull up a few weeds, I can pour a large glass of wine. Any other ideas?

Hi Jackie. I love (OK I am addicted to) audio books. I play them all the time, on dog walks, cooking or just relaxing. I have ear buds and play them from my phone or PC or Smart Speakers, or the car. I find I can lose myself in a story and be distracted, The advantage is that I can dip in and out when I want and pick up where I left off quickly. I find them relaxing as well as distracting.

These days there are hundreds of thousands of title available - fiction, non-fiction, biography, history - so it might be worth trying. Audible always has a three month trial available and other sites probably do as well. I have listened to books I would probably not have picked up in print version.

A friend does Cross-Stitch which she says she can pick up and put down at any time.

The Carers are right when they say they are there for you as much as Mum as you do need an opportunity to switch off even for a short time. My main switch-off time is when I walk the dog.

Hope this helps give you food for thought.


Do they clean the bathroom? If your caree can’t be left at all, that simply isn’t enough time off for you. As a keen amateur dressmaker, I’d be sat at my machine. I can do the rest anywhere else. I often pin, tack, etc. sat on my bed with the TV on in the evening. If you have a hobby, think about breaking tasks down like this. On a nice day, go for a walk in one slot.

1 Like

Thank you both. We only really need the early morning carer who helps mum get up, wash and dress. Four times a day is the recommended care package and it seems that it’s not advisable to cut it down as it would then be more difficult to reinstate if needed.

I didn’t realise they could just sit and chat with mum while I do something else. It seems a bit cheeky to ask that but I could potter in the garden or have a shower!
Chris, my dog died a few weeks ago which is probably one reason why I’m so twitchy. I’m looking at fostering dogs and looking forward to walking again!
Thanks for taking the time to respond.


I recommend making a list of chores in order to do. For example you could get them to make a cup of tea, sweep the entire floor, and so on. I’ve had carers who have talked to me in the past. Good luck. I recommend interviewing care companies to find out what sort of services they can provide. Make notes too.

Thanks, they’re all very willing but I didn’t know they would sit with mum while I did other stuff. Now I know that, I will make plans.

I hope you can do things for you
I walk round the block each day for 30 mins
Helps me desires
Warmly Ula

Make the most you can of the 30 minute breaks to do something YOU enjoy. That will help to recharge your batteries for the next session of looking after Mum.

As I said, my best time is walking Buster. This morning it was so warm and sunny without being too hot that he really enjoyed it and I wanted to exted my time out, but thought I ought to get back to G. Got home to find him still asleep - darn it I missed an opportunity for an extra half hour trudging round the fields and covering another mile or two. I felt good when I got home. Perhaps tomorrow I will delay my return gulp!!

In that case make sure they change mum’s bed, vacuum her bedroom, put the laundry in the machine etc. make sure there is a list of duties. Is the care funded by Social Services?


Jackie, definitely not cheeky. Some carers just want to run in do what it is needed and run out … they need a list of tasks that will take the half hour to complete. If they are the sort that will sit and chat with your Mum and she enjoys that - then that’s extra company and interaction for her and I’m sure the carers will enjoy a sit down! You could also get the to do tasks close by to your Mum so that it eases your load and she has company at the same time … sorting/folding laundry, dusting, ironing etc

Definitely use the time for you. (Sorry to hear about your dog.) Fostering dogs might be a way forward, might end up adopting …

30 mins isn’t long but could just about get out each day though for a short walk/errands, gardening stint, shower, hair wash, make a phone call, hobbies etc

I’m wondering though if its possible to have 2x 30 mins visits and 1x 1hour a day instead. Depends on who is providing the care and who is funding it etc

1 Like

Heya. I suggest discussing this with the care company. Country Cousins is a very good provider and I now recommend them wholeheartedly. They are a nationwide company with their head offices all over the country and they also supply live in carers too. Take a look at their website. Good luck. The UK home care association site is another good starting point in order to make your own further friendly inquiries. It is a good idea in addition to interview the office staff at the care providers. That way you can make some brief summary notes and so on.
If possible try to request a company brochure to read in your own time. Tour the offices as well. Get a feel for how the company works.

Thanks to you all. Things are changing daily here so I’ll let you know when we’ve settled down x

Don’t cut them down. I’m in the same situation and now only have the morning half hour. After breaking my wrist they gave me 3 sits a week 2 hours each which I still have but when you’re caring 24 x 7 it’s still tough. I had to fight for the sits because as you said you can’t do much in half an hour (I go for z walk in a morning because if I don’t they’re gone in 15 minutes). Have you had a carers assessment? I’ve been on the waiting list for 2 years :unamused:


Hi Milev

Remind them you’re still waiting and ask for an advocacy worker. There’s absolutely no excuse for a two year delay.

1 Like

Absolutely ask again for your carer’s assessment. You shouldn’t have to wait.


30 mins is nothing when carers never stay for that length of time. I know as they all have to fill in so much paper work before they leave & they then have to drive to the next house


I very recently reminded them that I’m still waiting for an assessment but they just said “you are on the list but due to Covid it’s still very long”. The district nurses have been on to them, the care company have been on to them. They aren’t the best that’s for sure.

Covid is no longer a valid excuse. I bet they’ve not even made any contact with anyone still waiting to see if the situation has improved, worsened, or come to an end. So they eventually get around to allocating and then find out…but in the meantime, the ones still waiting continue to wait.

Sorry to say that TOO many organisations still find covid a PERFECT excuse not to meet agreed targets or for general bad service.

So true, unfortunately