Respite is planned or emergency care provided to a child or adult with special needs in order to provide temporary relief to family caregivers caring for that child or adult.
Respite is provided informally or in a more structured way through programs based on a variety of eligibility criteria. Some respite programs may utilize an available bed in a healthcare facility for families who require extended respite options for a family member or friend requiring skilled care.
Some services may be available to families through formal, often publicly funded, programs or may be available to families through informal networks. Respite is available in a variety of settings and has specific 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 your individual family’s 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.