November is National Family Caregivers Month

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

As the U.S. population ages, demand for long-term services and supports is growing dramatically.  Family caregivers of older adults are regarded as the backbone of the long-term care workforce (Noelker, 2001), and respite is an important resource for alleviating or preventing the stress they experience and for maintaining older adults in the community.

The Ohio Respite Coalition (ORC) is a statewide collaboration among family members, caregivers, advocates, respite providers, agencies, community groups, and state and local government officials who believe all caregivers could use a break once in a while.

Ohio provides respite through the National Family Caregiver Support Program, its PASSPORT HCBS Medicaid Waiver Program, and its state-funded Alzheimer’s Respite Program.  All three statewide programs administered by the Ohio Department of Aging offer respite in the form of adult day services and in-home personal care.  Overnight and weekend/camp respite are offered by the Family Caregiver Support Program and the Alzheimer’s Respite Program.  Caregivers do not have to live with the care receiver to qualify for respite under any of these programs, and there is no limit on respite services.

Custodial parents may be able to access respite services through the local mental health board if their county board provides funding for that service. The local county boards of developmental disabilities receive an annual allotment of Family Support Services dollars. These funds are then allocated to families who apply and can be used for respite service.

Caregivers who use respite report high levels of satisfaction with the service.  So, family caregivers, if you’re feeling stressed, depressed, or just in need of a break, consider asking for a ‘respite.’  Even a little time to yourself may do you a lot of good.

For more information, visit the National Family Caregivers Association website.

- Posted by Carol Culley

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