Respite, also known as “short breaks”, is planned or emergency care that provide temporary relief to family caregivers. Getting respite from caregiving tasks is important for a caregiver’s health and well-being, and the person receiving care (often called the care recipient or care receiver) may also benefit with expanded social supports and time to explore new interests.
A family or informal caregiver can be any relative, spouse, partner, friend, kin, or neighbor who has a personal relationship with and provides a broad range of assistance for a family member, friend, or neighbor with a chronic or disabling condition. They are often the “primary caregiver”, giving assistance daily year-in and year-out.
A care recipient is the person who gets care. Anyone with a disability or special health care need may be a care recipient. Illness, accidents, aging, a condition someone is born with may all result in a situation where someone needs assistance with daily living.
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 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.