Respite can take many forms, but essentially it is anything that helps caregivers get a break from caregiving. Respite care is generally for the care recipient so the caregiver can take a break, or at least it can ease their load.
If you're looking for respite care of any kind, the ARCH RESPITE LOCATOR is a great tool. It's provided by the ARCH Respite Network, and you can search for:
A state respite coalition
Medicaid in-home waiver programs
Family caregiver support programs
Organizations and agencies that provide respite in your local area (city, zip code etc.)
Give it a search! You may be surprised at the resources that are available to you!
Sometimes, when I had respite care for my Dad, I was still at home with him, but it made it all so much easier for me to have an extra pair of hands on deck. Other times, I was able to take a nap, a walk, or leave the house. Respite may also come in the form of someone who helps you with tasks such as shopping, yard care, or cleaning. I always appreciated that - it freed me up and made everything easier for me to take a break.
Respite care may come from:
Family or friends
Professionals who provide in-home care (either direct hire or from an agency) whom you pay or who are paid for by an organization like Veterans Affairs or a program that offers respite support
A place your loved ones go for care - such as an adult day services center (where they go during the day and come back home in the evening), a short-term stay at an assisted living facility or nursing home or hospice respite facility
During the pandemic, respite can be a challenge. Adult day services are mostly closed. Caregivers are wary of sending loved ones to facilities, and many aren't accepting short-term stays. Caregivers are concerned about exposure from people coming into their homes. Some are still getting in-home respite, so if you're open to that it may be available.
But caregivers and respite organizations are getting creative about how to "get a break". Respite may be "getting away" mentally, by having a video chat, class, support group or online experience. It may be setting regular phone calls to your loved one from a volunteer, which gives you a bit of time for other things. It may be volunteers who do yard work for you. It may even be helping caregivers with art supplies so they can do activities at home with their loved ones!