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How to Begin

As a caregiver you may have both in-home and out-of-home respite provider options available in your local community.

Hiring an In-Home Respite Provider

  • Find potential respite providers.
    • Caregivers often access an informal network of respite providers from within their local community; such as family, friends, neighbors or from individuals in their community organizations such as church or support groups.
    • Use the Respite Provider Directory.
    • Post a job description to job sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, or an ad in the classifieds.
  • Determine the respite provider responsibilities and work experience you want your respite provider to have and use these to create interview questions.
  • Conduct a telephone interview and follow up with an in-person interview.
  • Check references.
  • Verify previous work experience, training, or credentials.
  • Complete a background check as appropriate
  • Evaluate whether the provider is trained and capable of completing the unique needs of your loved one.
  • As much as possible get to know the potential respite provider before hiring them. Communicate your expectations in very specific terms. It is helpful to have these expectations in writing to assure both parties understand them.

Hiring an Agency Provider

Agency providers may be located within traveling distance of a caregiver’s home and available to provide in-home respite through their trained staff. When in-home respite care is coordinated through an agency provider the agency completes references, background checks, and provides basic training to their employees. Before hiring an agency provider, e.g., home health, in-home provider, community support provider or other agency who will send a respite provider into your home, you should evaluate the agency and their staff.

Specific questions for the agency:

  • How are agency staff selected and what training do they receive?
  • What type of background check is performed?
  • Are references on the agency staff available?
  • Are agency staff licensed and bonded, is it required?
  • What tasks can be performed by the agency staff?
  • Can the agency staff administer medication, assist with medical tasks or personal care needs?
  • What activities or companionship can the agency staff provide?
  • Can your agency provide care on the days and times when I need respite, e.g. days of the week, hours?
  • If the agency staff will be driving the care recipient, do they have a valid driver’s license and insurance?
  • What is the process in order to hire your agency to provide respite?
  • What is the cost per hour for respite and how and when is payment expected?
  • How are emergencies and problems handled by agency staff?

Respite can also be provided at an assisted living center or nursing facility as an option for caregivers who need extended respite or when the care recipient requires skilled care. If you are considering respite services outside the home, request a tour for you and your loved one. When possible, visit the program or facility more than once and observe the interaction between participants and staff, the types of activities offered and opportunities for social engagement.

Help for Choosing Children's Respite

Additional Resources

A variety of consumer guides, workbooks, and checklists also are available online for your use through ARCH for more information on respite for specific ages or conditions.