Respite Care

Download or view our Welcome To Respite information (pdf)

Respite service (short term stay) is arranged through Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) Home & Community Care. If you have questions about access to Respite or to confirm your dates, please contact your Long Term Care Case Worker. If you do not currently have a VIHA Long Term Care Case Manager, you can get more information by phoning the Vancouver Island Health Authority — 250-951-9550.

Respite Care is the break that caregivers get by allowing someone else to temporarily take over some of their caregiving duties. Used on a regular basis, Respite Care helps prevent caregiver burnout, by relieving some of the caregiver’s workload and stress.

Respite Care usually takes one of three forms:

  1. arrangements can be made for someone to come into the home to look after or sit with the care recipient (even if the caregiver is at home)
  2. the care recipient can be booked for a short stay (overnight, weekend, a week or more) in a long-term care or other facility
  3. the care recipient can be registered to attend an Adult Day Program

Respite Care gives caregivers time off to:

  • relax
  • socialize with friends and family
  • attend to other responsibilities
  • recover from some of the stresses of caregiving
  • renew their energies to continue providing quality care

Respite Care may also provide care recipients an opportunity to:

  • meet with people outside the immediate family
  • participate in social and recreational activities
  • make new friends
  • maintain a sense of identity and purpose

More About Respite Care

Caregivers often state that the most important goal is to care for their loved one. Sometimes they must be reminded to care for themselves in order to remain physically and mentally able to care for others. Caregivers may experience feelings of frustration, discouragement and sadness. Sometimes a sense of being overburdened can create feelings of guilt or resentment. Fatigue is common and always a result of doing too much and not getting enough rest. Caregivers generally put aside their own need for rest, socializing and solitary moments.

Respite Care is the break that caregivers get by allowing someone else to temporarily take over some of their caregiving duties. Used on a regular basis, Respite Care helps prevent caregiver burnout, by relieving some of the caregiver’s workload and stress.

There are various ways to help the regular caregiver, who is often a family member, to have a break or do some things for themselves. These services are called Respite Care services, and there are three ways that they can be provided: In-home Respite Care, Respite Care Adult day programs, and short-stay Respite Care.

In-home Respite Care

This Respite Care service brings someone to your own home to provide help with needed services (e.g. personal care) and to allow a regular family caregiver to take a break.

Respite Care Adult Day Programs

These Respite Care programs provide social and other therapeutic activities at a location outside your home. Respite Care Programs usually include planned recreation and physical activities, meals, transportation to the Respite Care program and some personal care. There can be a consumer fee for this Respite Care service to cover the meals and transportation costs (approximately $15 to $50 per day). Subsidies may be available.

Short-Stay Respite Care

The temporary Respite Care provided in a long-term care home under “caregiver respite” is considered a “short stay”.