Lifespan Respite Washington
Lifespan Respite Washington - Formerly known as Washington State Lifespan Respite Coalition.
Lifespan Respite Washington
Respite simply means a break from routine. In this case, it means a break from taking care of one’s loved one who has a physical, emotional, or intellectual challenge.
The following definition of respite exists in Dictionary.com Unabridged; based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2011:
res•pite [res-pit] noun; verb, -pit•ed, -pit•ing.
1. a delay or cessation for a time, especially of anything distressing or trying; an interval of relief: to toil without respite.
2. to relieve temporarily, especially from anything distressing or trying; give an interval of relief from.
Synonyms: hiatus, rest, recess, alleviate.
Beyond the basic definition, it is important to consider respite to be varied according to family need. Some families just need a few hours each work to get some shopping done. Others might need overnight support. Some need out-of-home care in a residential setting, while others prefer in-home respite. It is valid to consider creative ways as well, such as summer camps or scouting programs.
Any individual who provides daily care for his or her loved one due to a long-term illness, disability, or vulnerability needs respite from time to time. These can include the following:
- A physical or development delay;
- A chronic or terminal physical, emotional or mental health condition requiring ongoing care and supervision;
- Alzheimer’s disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, or and related disorders;
- Medical fragility;
- Individuals at risk for abuse and/or neglect.
- A five-minute YouTube clip (from National Geographic’s “SILENT KILLER” video), regarding the impact of caregiver stress on the body (chromosomal changes), and the promise of recovery through respite and engagement with others in similar situations; and
- A creative community response to providing caregiver respite specifically for relatives raising their kin, a grandparents’ time out program in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Imagine the 600,000 individuals in Seattle’s population having need for a caregiver. That’s how many caregivers exist in Washington State. If those caregivers were suddenly unable to continue their efforts, it would costs the state $7.8 billion dollars to provide public support. The bottom line is that those individuals who need care deserve to be treated with dignity and respite. Helping caregivers get breaks in crisis situations (e.g., hospitalizations, burnout) or in planned ways keeps loved ones safe and decreases medical and emotional costs.
Lifespan respite is a term used nationally to represent a variety of circumstances, encompassing what some call as “cradle to grave” support for individuals in need. Those who receive care are from across the “lifespan”, which means elders, adults over the age of 18 with disabilities, children under 18 with disabilities, and vulnerable children (at risk of family separation or abuse/neglect).
Respite services under this definition shall be provided to all family caregivers regardless of age, income, cultural or ethnic background or disability of the care recipient.
Lifespan respite is a coordinated network of respite services developed in communities to serve caregivers within those communities.
A continuum of planned and crisis respite care that is: Responsive and accessible, promotes public awareness, provides information and referral, and enhances the health and well-being of families and communities and their unique needs.
Any family/kinship caregiver who provides daily care for individuals defined above; e.g., elders, adults over the age of 18 with disabilities, children under 18 with disabilities, and vulnerable children (at risk of family separation or abuse/neglect).
Some barriers exist, keeping caregivers from obtaining respite. These include:
- Unclear what “respite” really means;
- Confusing or restrictive eligibility criteria;
- Financial need;
- Provider shortage;
- Complicated funding stream mazes;
- Caregiver reluctance to identify they need support; and
- Caregiver discomfort at describing oneself as a “caregiver” for a loved one such as their child or spouse.
If you need respite, please contact the Community Information Line, or 2-1-1. If your family is involved with an agency case manager, you can also ask for their assistance in navigating the respite care system. In addition, contained in this website are known respite resources links to programs where respite may exist.
If you wish for more information about Lifespan Respite Washington, please contact:
Linda J. Porter, Lifespan Respite Washington Project Coordinator
Phone: 206-829-7030 (Mon.-Fri. 8:30am-3:30pm)
Toll free: 1-877-946-0600