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Merck Manual

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Respite Care


Debra Bakerjian

, PhD, APRN, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, UC Davis

Last full review/revision Jul 2020| Content last modified Jul 2020
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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.

More Information

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