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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

Respite care involves providing temporary care for an older person so that the regular caregiver can have a break. In the United States, over half of states have respite programs. Programs may be provided in different settings:

  • In the home by respite care agencies or 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 (such as a board-and-care facility or nursing home)

  • In a hospital

How long the respite care lasts may vary. Funds may come from Medicaid, grants, and private funds.