Resource Guide for Family Caregivers
Respite care

Respite care is the break that caregivers get by allowing someone else to temporarily take over some of their caregiving duties. Used on a regular basis, respite care helps prevent caregiver burnout by relieving some of the caregiver’s workload and stress. There is a lot of evidence that many family caregivers need regular, reliable options for respite (getting a break). Respite provides a chance for caregivers to rest and recharge, get their errands done or take a much needed holiday.

Used on a regular basis, respite care can help prevent burnout.

Respite options

  • Arrangements can be made for some-one to come into the home to look after or be with the care receiver (even if the caregiver is at home).
  • The care receiver can attend an adult day program.
  • The care receiver can have a short stay (overnight, weekend, a week or more) in a long-term care or other facility.

The first step in obtaining respite services is to call your Case Manager for an updated assessment. All Long Term Care respite is arranged through the Case Manager. She will discuss your respite requirements with you and suggest one or more of the following options.

1. Home-based support

a) Urgent respite

If need is immediate and urgent, the Case Manager will suggest that a community health worker come into your home to care for the family member. Care may be provided for up to 24 hours per day to a maximum of 10 days. There is a sliding scale cost for this service. The amount of home support hours authorized is dependent on the care needs of the individual. An important consideration is safety and whether the person can be left alone.

b) Ongoing respite

It could be that a family caregiver wants to attend a regular class or engage in some sort of fitness activity once a week. In this case your Case Manager will set up regular, ongoing home support hours.

2. Adult day programs

There are several adult day programs in the Capital Region that provide care for individuals, for about five hours a day. Some provide transportation, or HandiDart can also be used. The cost is minimal at $5.00-$10.00 a day, and includes lunch. Your Case Manager will complete an updated assessment and place the family member’s name on the wait list (see description of Adult Day programs in this section of the Resource Guide).

3. Facility respite, or short-term admission

Numerous care facilities in the Capital Region provide short term admission beds that can be booked for a minimum of seven days. Prior to going into a short-term admission bed, make sure to label all clothing with the person’s name on it and leave medications at home.

A new community respite resource has just opened at the Hillside Seniors’ Health Centre in Victoria. The Piercy Respite Hotel offers stays of 1 to 21 days in a hotel-like setting for seniors (age 55 +), whose family caregivers need a break. Private rooms, ensuite bathrooms, three meals a day plus snacks, enclosed patio garden, and 24 hour staffing provided by Community Health Workers are offered for $28.80 per day. Call 250-370-5641 for more information about the hotel.

Contact your Case Manager for details about any of the facility respite programs.