Family Caregivers

Family Caregivers FAQ

There are 538,000 caregivers in the State of Colorado. Respite care, the most frequently requested family service, provides temporary relief from continuous care-giving of family members with disabilities or chronic conditions. It has been shown to provide family care givers with the relief to maintain their own health, bolster family stability, and delay more costly nursing home or foster care placements.

Respite care can be provided by a variety of organizations including not-for-profit organizations/agencies, for-profit organizations, faith-based organizations, and independents. Respite care workers may include volunteers, health care para-professionals, certified nursing assistants and registered nurses. Please read “National Respite Models” to identify a respite care model best suited for your family. Search our Online Resource Finder to find respite providers in your community.

No, CRC is a “resource and referral” coalition, we do not provide any direct care services. We can, however, assist you in locating a respite service in your area. Search the Online Resource Finder to find respite providers in your community.

Yes, the Colorado Respite Coalition awards Family Respite Vouchers to qualifying families as a payor of last resorts for respite care. Eligibility requirements include being a full time family caregiver (40 hours per week or more), living in the state of Colorado, not currently receiving financial assistance for respite, and providing care to a person with special needs. Voucher must be used with an Approved Provider within 90 days of receipt of award. Vouchers are a resource for unserved or underserved family caregivers who had limited access to respite or other supports through current systems.

Additionally, we award Community Grants to agencies that providing respite services in an effort to respond to the respite care needs of Colorado's family caregivers of individuals with special needs, chronic conditions, older adults, foster children and kinship relations (i.e. grandparent and grandchild). Inquire with your provider what scholarships or grants are available for funding respite.

We also work closely with several local and state agencies across Colorado and will be happy to work with you in making these connections. Email Meghan Kluth mkluth@eastersealscolorado.org for more information. Click here to learn more about paying for respite.

Federal programs (like Medicaid and Medicare) that are managed at the state level have complex rules and eligibility requirements. Rules and regulations vary by state and often by county. In order to get the best guidance possible, contact your Medicaid Office or Department of Human Services. The CRC's Respite Care Navigation Guide is a resource to help family caregivers understand different funding streams, and how to access respite care. This guide is a prototype. The final guide, complete with proper formatting and graphic design elements, will be available in fall 2018.

Caring for anyone with special needs, let alone your child, is a hard job. Respite care can let you step away even for just a few hours. Here are a few ideas as to how respite can help you to decompress:

a respite provider can come to your home enabling you to take a nap, cook a meal, read a book by yourself.
use the time for your healthcare or dental appointments. Taking care of your own health is extremely important too.
your loved one may benefit from socialization. Respite services are often provided in group settings.
time away can give you the break you might need to re-group and be more available to your loved one.
If you feel that you may snap, please do not ignore this feeling. Contact your local mental health center or emergency room for help.

Search the Online Resource Finder to find respite providers in your community. If you are unable to find services using the Online Resource Finder, please contact Meghan Kluth at mkluth@eastersealscolorado.org or 303-233-1666x257

There are several reasons why families decline respite care. Some of the most common things said by families include: 

"I feel guilty"
"No one else can take care of my loved one"
"I can take care," "I should take care" or "it is my responsibility to take care"
"I don’t understand the meaning and benefits of respite care and don’t have time to gather this information"

Knowledge is power; visit the links below to find out more information on the ins and outs of respite care:

7 Tips for Hiring Good Care Providers — Tips from the National Parkinson Foundation on hiring a quality care provider.

More Ways to Arrange Breaks from Caregiving— A list of formal and informal options for respite that you may consider.

The ABCs of Respite: A Consumer Guide for Family Caregivers (PDF) — Answers to many of your questions about respite care from the types of respite available to choosing a provider to how to pay for services. This information is from the ARCH National Respite Network.