Many caregivers reach a point where they desperately need a break. Whether additional help is needed so a caregiver can attend a support group, manage day-to-day activities, go on vacation, attend to their own health needs, or simply just catch up on rest, respite can be an important way for caregivers to maintain their well being.
Respite can also be a helpful temporary solution, should a senior be waiting to transition into another care environment but is no longer safe to be at home, even with support.
What is respite?
Respite care can take several forms:
- Adult Day Programs. This type of respite is usually run by local health authorities. A senior will travel to a location in their community usually 1-2 days per week. There, they may receive a variety of services, including personal assistance, health care services, organized programming and recreation, or help with things like bathing.
- At home respite. At home respite can be accessed as a publicly subsidized service through the health authority, or through a private home support organization. This can provide caregivers with a much needed break, which can help manage stress and reduce burnout.
- Residential respite. A senior accessing this kind of support will receive temporary accommodation or assistance on day-to-day needs at a care home for a specific period of time. Usually this takes place at a long-term care home. This can be appropriate for caregivers looking to take a vacation, manage burnout, or to recover from their own health challenges. This kind of respite is available as a private pay service or may be publicly-subsidized for eligible seniors.
How can it be accessed?
If you are looking to access private-pay respite options you can use Route 65 to look at what is available in your community, either through local home support organizations or through long-term care homes, many of which offer respite.
To access publicly subsidized support, you will first need to find out if you are eligible. Once eligibility is determined, you will need to contact your local Home and Community Care Office and arrange for an assessment.