Washington continues to focus on improving access, developing and strengthening the respite system while taking into consideration certain populations which are underserved, and certain health conditions, some of which are highlighted below.
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Lifespan Respite WA is working to increase respite options for American Indian and Alaskan Native caregivers with input from the Tribes themselves as they have the knowledge and awareness of how to meet this need. The Lifespan Respite WA Voucher Program is open to all eligible American Indian and Alaskan Native caregivers.
Children with Special Health Care Needs
Accepting help to provide care to your child can be challenging; however, parents and other caregivers deserve a break and time to recharge themselves.
- WA Department of Health – Children with Special Health Care Needs
- Lifespan Respite WA Voucher Program
For information about various forms of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, reference the Alzheimer’s Association.
Also, consider respite through the Family Caregiver Support Program. And then there are programs such as Hilarity for Charity, (for Alzheimer’s Disease).
Hilarity for Charity® (HFC) is a resource to help bridge gaps in understanding the landscape of Alzheimer’s disease. HFC is dedicated to raising awareness, inspiring change, and accelerating progress in Alzheimer’s care, research, and support through the engagement of millennials. Using this unique approach, HFC aims to significantly improve outcomes for all family members contending with Alzheimer’s disease by 2020.
Grants for Respite: Hilarity for Charity and the Home Instead Senior Care network are working together to award in-home care grants to those providing care to their loved ones living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Hilarity for Charity is proud to have awarded over 211,000 hours of in-home respite care across the United States and Canada.
(Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual, Questioning/Queer, “+”-indicates that this acronym expands to include individuals of diverse identities relating to gender, identity, sexuality, and relationships.)
SAGE, Advocacy & Services for LGBTQ+ Elders, says “We’re a national advocacy and services organization that’s been looking out for LGBTQ+ [their acronym] elders since 1978. We build welcoming communities and keep our issues in the national conversation to ensure a fulfilling future for all LGBTQ+ people”.
- LGBTQ+ inclusion and cultural competency
- Elder abuse and neglect
- Social security, Medicare, and Medicaid
- Health care
- Financial security and retirement
They offer a tip sheet for Finding LGBT-Affirming Services.
The VA provides a variety of caregiver services to Veterans and their caregivers:
- Veteran’s Caregiver Support Line: 1-855-260-3274 toll-free
- Respite Relief-Hidden Heroes (US Department of Veterans Affairs and Elizabeth Dole Foundation.
- State Department of Veterans Affairs: Offers up to 30 days of respite per calendar year for family caregivers of veterans in their centers or in their communities.
For active duty and reserve component military families:
- Exceptional Family Member Program: Provides all four military branches with care and respite support for families with a member who has a special need or disability.
- Coast Guard Special Needs Program: provides Coast Guard family members who have special needs or a disability with care and support.
- ChildCareAware fee assistance for respite.
Private non-profits in Washington State:
- Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors: Offers emergency assistance, morale-building, and innovative therapeutic services for wounded warriors and their families.
The Here and Now Project serves the Pacific Northwest Paralysis Community. They have created thousands of meaningful connections between hundreds of individuals living with paralysis all over the Pacific Northwest and built a community of support that the newly paralyzed have come to trust as a tremendous resource for how to move forward after a life-changing injury or diagnosis.
Traumatic Brain Injury
When someone suffers a violent blow or jolt to the head, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), may occur, affecting the entire family. If you are caring for a partner, spouse, child, relative, or close friend with TBI, it is important to recognize how stressful this situation can be and to seek support services. You may be eligible to receive a $1,000 voucher. To learn more about the Voucher Program, go to the Voucher Program page on this website.
Two additional state-wide resources:
- Brain Injury Alliance Washington (BIAWA) is a statewide resource for individuals with brain injury, managing the Washington State Brain Injury Resource Center and offering intensive resource management in most counties. They offer free classes, support groups, information and referral services, and social opportunities.
- Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Council intent is to bring together expertise from the public and private sectors and includes individuals with a TBI, medical professionals serving individuals with TBI, human service providers, family members, caregivers and state agency representatives.
There are other types of brain injury called Acquired Brain Injury (where brain damage may have been caused by illness, dementia, or other conditions). Contact your local Family Caregiver Support Program or visit the Aging and Long Term Support Administration website for Acquired Brain Injury resources.