Respite Care and Why it is Important

What is respite and why is it important?

Respite – taking a break from caregiving is so very important and is most effective if it is started early in the caregiving experience and is consistent throughout.  Unfortunately, many care partners wait until they are overwhelmed, exhausted, and/or in a crisis to seek help with their caregiving, i.e.: respite.








For family care partners who provide ongoing care to someone with a chronic or disabling condition or for a family facing undue hardship or crisis, respite means:


 … planned or emergency care provided to a child or adult with a special need in order to provide temporary relief to the family care partner of that child or adult. (Lifespan Respite Care Act definition PL 109-442)


Benefits of Respite (provided by ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center)


  • Improves family care partner physical and emotional health;
  • Improves overall family well-being and stability;
  • Improves marriages, sibling and other family relationships;
  • Reduces hospital costs and helps avoid or delay more costly foster care, nursing home or other out-of-home placements;
  • Gives care recipient a break, too!


Starting the respite early in the caregiving journey can be helpful to the person or organization providing the respite and the care recipient; an early start can give confidence to the care partner that their loved one will be well cared for while they take care of themselves.


Stay tuned to this blog for more information about the Barriers to Respite; How our community is working to overcome barriers to respite; and Types of Respite and programs available in our local community.


Click here for a complete list of respite care resources.


For more information and/or current needs for respite, contact Marta Malone at or 775-237-8375 or visit


By Marta Malone