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What to Expect from a Respite Caregiver

Respite Coordination offers a range of services which can be catered to fit the needs of each individual client.  Whether your family member needs medication reminders or just a bit of supervision and companionship, there are respite caregivers available!  While respite can help to relieve caregiver stress, if your family member’s needs have truly surpassed what you can handle, you need more support than respite care can provide.

Supervision and Companionship
If you worry about leaving your family member home alone, a respite caregiver can provide supervision and companionship services.  The respite caregiver can engage your family member in activities like cards, board games, reading, walking, or listening to music.

Activities of Daily Living
Activities of daily living (ADLs) are essential tasks a person needs to accomplish each day, like dressing, bathing, and personal hygiene.  A respite caregiver can assist your family member in performing these tasks, but cannot administer medications or perform transfers.

Meals
A respite caregiver can prepare light meals for your family member and assist him/her with eating.  The caregiver cannot prepare meals for the rest of your family.

Housekeeping
Housekeeping should not be the main task assigned, but a respite caregiver can assist with light housekeeping in areas used by the client such as the bathroom, kitchen, his/her bedroom, and living room.  Examples include:

  • The respite caregiver provides a light meal and can wipe up the counters, clear the table, put the dishes used in the dishwasher or wash by hand, and return dishes to the cupboard.  The respite caregiver cannot wash dishes used by the rest of your family.
  • The respite caregiver provides hands-on assistance with bathing, ensuring clean linens and clothes are available, putting dirty laundry in a hamper for washing, and ensuring bathroom sink, toilet, countertop, and mirrors are cleaned after being used by your family member.

Laundry
Laundry should not be the main task assigned, but a respite caregiver can assist with cleaning laundry soiled by your family member, including his/her linens, but cannot do laundry for the rest of your family.

Medication Reminders
A respite caregiver who is a home health aide, CNA or GNA can provide medication reminders.  They cannot administer medication or fill pill boxes.


Respite is funded primarily through a contract with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.  Changes to the respite program may occur based upon state, county and provider agency regulations and recommendations.

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