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Respite care provides the caregiver with relief from caregiving responsibilities.  It can be a voluntary or paid service that extends from a few hours to several weeks.  Respite can be provided at home and/or an extended care facility, or may involve someone else taking on a task you normally do.  Services can be provided by a home health agency, adult day program, nursing home, or family, friends, private providers or volunteers.

The Area Agency on Aging administers two such programs:

Caregiver Respite Program provides funding for respite to caregivers of eligible individuals who have a diagnosis of dementia. 

Family Caregiver Support Program helps caregivers who need a break to take a break.  State guidelines say that the care recipient must have two or more activities of daily living (ADL) limitations or a cognitive impairment for the caregiver to be eligible for respite services.  Respite is offered on a limited basis and is contingent on available funding. FCSP funding can support a broad range of respite activities to give the caregiver relief from their caregiving responsibilities.  The ADL or cognitive requirement does not apply to respite services for kinship parents.

The Maine Parkinson Society administers one respite program that offers in-home respite care to any caregiver of a person with Parkinson Disease. MEPS respite funds are intended to ease the caregiving process and reduce caregiver stress.  To gain access to our respite care funding, a care recipient must be diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and be in need of assistance at home. Respite care is intended to be temporary in nature and serves as a short term opportunity for caregiver rest and relief from their responsibilities.