Respite Care

Respite Care provides temporary relief to the primary caregiver from the continuous support and care of an elderly individual or adult who is disabled. This relief helps prevent individual and family breakdown, institutionalization, or abuse by the primary caregiver as a result of stress from providing continuous support. Respite Care is not meant to replace other specialized services. Financial eligibility is based on income and resources. A cost share may be required.


Covered services may include:

  • companionship,
  • involvement in the person's activities of daily living,
  • meal preparation,
  • light housekeeping and
  • personal hygiene tasks.

Services not covered include skilled nursing services and the administration of medications.

The frequency and hours of Respite Care requested by the primary caregiver and individual are a mutually agreed upon arrangement with the provider. Respite Care must be within the range of approved hours as determined by an assessment. Overnight, weekend care, vacation time and emergency periods are examples when Respite Care might be needed.


An individual may be eligible for Respite Care if they meet the following criteria:

  • At least 18 years of age.
  • The assessment and care plan completed by the Adult Services and Aging Specialist indicates a need for respite care.
  • The individual has a primary caregiver. Potential individuals of Respite Care should be prioritized according to the threat of being institutionalized and the inability to live independently. If a person's health is such that skilled nursing or total care is required, Respite Care may not be appropriate.

Provider and Service Location

The primary caregiver has the responsibility to identify and select the Respite Care provider. This person may be a neighbor, friend or family acquaintance or community resource person that has agreed to provide the care. Respite Care services may be provided in the person's home, the respite care provider's home, or in another type of community setting, such as Adult Day Services. A Respite Care provider may not live with or be considered the client’s primary caregiver. 


Respite Care services are provided to eligible individuals for a specified cost share, determined by the Adult Services and Aging Specialist. An approved hourly rate is paid to Respite Care providers.

The Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities also has a Respite Care Program.