Few family placement schemes involve adult persons, and rarely have they been targeted at older carers. Twenty-five carers, aged 55 years and over, of people with intellectual disabilities using one of two placement schemes in Northern Ireland were studied, along with a further 20 carers recommended for these schemes. Semi-structured individual interviews were used to obtain the views of carers, people with intellectual disabilities and placement providers. The placement schemes were very favourably received. Carers welcomed the break and valued the relationship with the placement provider. Individuals with disability reported greater opportunities to participate in activities. Placement providers were very satisfied with the way the schemes operated: the main complaint was the low level of payments. Key factors affecting the further development of services include recruitment of male providers, registration issues, training of providers and the difficulty in meeting the needs of multiply disabled persons.