What is Respite?
Respite is temporary, short-term relief. Respite Care is temporary short-term relief for caregivers of individuals with special needs such as: developmental and physical disabilities or other chronic illnesses that are related to health concerns, medical fragility, or for those at risk of abuse and neglect. The primary purpose of respite is to give relief to families and caregivers from the extraordinary and intensive demands of proving ongoing care in the home. Respite strengthens the ability of families and caregivers to continue to provide care in the home. Occasional relief supports family stability and well-being. Providing a single point of contact for families to access respite care is the crucial first step that will allow families to help themselves, thereby reducing stress, preventing child abuse and neglect, and enhancing family preservation and support. Stable funding and statewide coordination of respite care services are essential to the success for community-based lifespan respite care networks. Community-based lifespan networks are designed and driven by a diverse respite partnership that includes family caregivers, providers, state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, health services, schools, local businesses, faith communities and volunteers. Lifespan networks are the central point of contact for families and caregivers seeking respite care and related supports regardless of age, income, race, ethnicity, special need or situation.
Why respite is important to Alabama:
- Family caregivers are a valuable resource
- Respite is cost effective
- Respite can postpone out-of-home placement
- Respite helps decrease abuse and neglect
- Families should have choices for respite care provision and have it available to them when they need a break
- Over one million Alabamians have a disability or special health care need. Families providing continuous care for a loved one often need a break from their daily routine.
Respite can be provided in a variety of settings:
- The family’s home
- A relative’s home
- A community setting
- A day care center
- Church respite programs
Benefits of Respite:
- Reduced stress on the family
- Improved parenting/caregiving
- Increased time with spouse or other family members
- Freedom for family members to participate in community activities