Respite care provides short-term relief for primary caregivers. It can be arranged for just an afternoon or for several days or weeks. Especially with some Adult Day Centers not yet open after the COVID restrictions were put in place, other sources of respite help may be hard to find. But there’s hope in securing respite help through specific grants.
Define your needs
AARP recommends starting by asking yourself a few questions:
• What do you need? Three hours off, twice a week? Twenty-four hours away from the house? A regular day (or night) out with your spouse or friends? A combination of the above?
• What does your loved one need? Meals? Laundry? Light housekeeping? Personal care? Daily walks? Medical help? List every job, large and small.
• Who can pinch-hit? Cast a wide net. List family near and far, your friends and your loved one’s friends.
Three Respite Grant Options
Once you have your needs defined, pursue these three respite care resources:
Dementia Home Care Grant
HFC and Home Instead offer grants specifically for respite care if your older adult meets the following criteria:
- Currently living at home with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia.
- Caregiver(s) facing financial and emotional hardships due to the unique challenges of Alzheimer’s or related Dementia.
- Resides in the United States or Canada
Watch their video for suggestions on how to complete the grant application. They want to hear your specific story. The applications are reviewed bi-monthly and they say you will get a response within 60 days.
Respite Relief through the VA
There is a grant available through the Elizabeth Dole Foundation that “offers family caregivers of veterans access to no-cost, short-term relief with the help of CareLinx in-home care professionals.” They state that the in-home care professionals can provide companionship, light housekeeping, grocery shopping and meal preparation, transportation, mobility support/transferring, exercise, toileting, bathing, and dressing and grooming. Here’s a link to a Grant Q&A and a link to the application itself.
Read more about VA support in this article: Veteran? Get Paid or Get Money for Caring
Eldercare Financial Assistance Locator
This tool helps you find the programs for which you or your older adult are currently eligible as well as those programs for which you might become eligible as your situation changes. You answer a few questions and they narrow down what you qualify for with over 400 programs including federal, state, and local governments, the VA, non-profits and private organizations.
You may also be interested in this article: Respite Care Provided through Hospice for a Dementia Patient
With the processing time in mind, it’s probably best to begin a process right away, even before you are sure you need it. Support in your caregiving journey is not just good, it’s important and respite is not just good, it’s essential.
May you find joy in loving one another well.
Elizabeth Dameron-Drew is the Co-founder and President of Ways & Wane. She walked closely with her own father through his years of waning. She lives near Seattle with her two teenage sons, husband and two rescue dogs. When she’s not working on this platform she’s probably creating books, doing research or planning a dinner party while listening to the rain and thinking about her next creative endeavor.