Respite, also known as “short breaks”, is planned or emergency care provided to a child or adult with special needs in order to provide temporary relief to family caregivers for that child or adult.
Respite is available in a variety of settings and has specific eligibility criteria. Some respite programs may utilize an available bed in a healthcare facility for families requiring extended respite options for a family member or friend requiring skilled care.
Respite is provided either informally, or in a more structured way through programs, often publicly funded, based on a variety of eligibility criteria.
Some examples are:
- parent cooperatives
- caregiver support groups
- voluntary relief provided by family or friends, or
- cash subsidies from states to purchase respite through relatives and friends.
Respite is tailored to meet individual family needs. You may just need a few hours to get some shopping done, or several nights to rest after a long time without a break. You might prefer support in your own home, or maybe having your loved one go out to an overnight camp or day site would be most beneficial for both of you.
Washington has a variety of respite options for families looking for an opportunity to receive respite throughout the state and across the lifespan, no matter the condition. This website was developed to provide information for family caregivers needing respite that is both formal and informal.