Resources & Information

What Does Respite Mean?

 

The dictionary’s respite care definition is “a short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant” or “an interval of rest or relief”.  Respite care generally refers to care provided to offer such a break to a primary caregiver.  Respite might be provided full-time for a period such as a week or two (for example while a caregiver travels) or might be provided on an intermittent basis (such as every afternoon or once/week so the caregiver can run errands, rest or attend an activity). 

This page contains educational information to help educators, family caregivers, respite care providers and other organizations/agencies interested in supporting the cause of respite care.

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Caregiver statistics in the United States.

Caregiving in the U.S. 2015, conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, provides a national snapshot of family caregiving in the United States. The typical higher-hour caregiver (who provides unpaid care for at least 21 hours a week) has been caregiving for an average of 5-1/2 years and expects to continue care for another 5 years. Nearly half of these higher-hour caregivers report high emotional stress (46 percent).

With an average household income of $45,700, caregivers report not only emotional strain, but financial strain. Higher-hour caregivers report difficulty in finding affordable caregiving services, such as delivered meals, transportation, or in-home health services, in the community for them and their loved ones. Caregivers who live more than an hour away from their care recipient also report higher levels of financial strain (21 percent), perhaps because 4 out of 10 long-distance caregivers report the use of paid help (41 percent).