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What is Emergency Respite Care?

by Jill Kagan, Respite Care Expert
April 17, 2015

Question: What is emergency respite care?

Answer: Emergency respite, also known as crisis care respite, is often needed when the caregiver experiences illness, job loss, death in the family, domestic violence, homelessness, or another emergency. Emergency respite is short term care that may last from one hour to several weeks depending on the needs of the primary caregiver and may take place in-home or out-of-home.

When a crisis occurs you may be especially stressed and anxious about the incident that caused the crisis as well as the fate of your loved one if and when you have to leave. The care recipient will likely pick up on the anxiety and perhaps become agitated and anxious themselves. It is important to not only consider this, but to be prepared for it. It’s important that all transitions are made as comfortable and anxiety-free as possible.

Searching for emergency respite in advance of an emergency situation will help alleviate fears about having to leave the care recipient suddenly. The search will involve as much advance planning as possible.

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Jill Kagan, MPH, is the Director of the ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center and Chair of its policy division, the National Respite Coalition. ARCH has been a leader in the areas of respite research and evaluation, training, advocacy, and consumer issues for more than twenty years.

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