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Respite Care

By Barbara Resnick, PhD, CRNP, Professor, OSAH, Sonya Ziporkin Gershowitz Chair in Gerontology, University of Maryland School of Nursing

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Patient Education

Respite care is provision of temporary care by a substitute caregiver to provide relief to the regular caregiver. Over 50% of US states have respite programs. Programs may be provided in different settings:

  • In the home by respite care agencies or by home health care agencies

  • In the community by adult day care centers, respite care cooperatives, or freestanding respite facilities

  • In a long-term care facility (eg, by board-and-care facilities or nursing homes)

  • In a hospital

Duration of care may vary (eg, limited to 28 days in a calendar year).

Support comes from Medicaid (almost 50%), grants (25%), and private funds (25%).