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Respite Care Program



Virginia Caregiver Coalition (VCC) Respite Care Message - October 2011

What is “respite”?

Defined by the Lifespan Respite Act of 2006, respite is “planned or emergency care provided to a child or adult with special needs in order to provide temporary relief to the family caregiver” (Lifespan Respite Care Act definition Pl109-442).

Respite services may be provided in a variety of settings, including home, adult day care centers or residential care facilities. Respite is a key component of family support and home and community based care services. Respite care programs are necessary to strengthen the family as the current backbone of America’s long-term care system and to protect the health and well being of both caregivers and care recipients.

Why is respite care so important?

The value of respite cannot be overstated. It provides the family caregiver with dependable care options while the primary caregiver engages in self-care and tends to other family, social and community roles. Respite care can help prevent a premature and costly out-of-home placement. Respite can also be a source of prevention for potential child/elder abuse and neglect. Respite care also serves to enhance a family’s overall well being and stability. Uninterrupted and persistent stress among family caregivers has been shown to contribute to negative health outcomes, increased use of medications and increases in depression.

Virginia Caregiver Coalition’s Relationship to Respite Care

Founded in 2004, VCC is a natural collaborative partner for the Lifespan Respite Care Program. The VCC’s membership provides a catalyst for coordination and development of community-based respite programs that are fiscally aligned, collaborative, inclusive of ADRC and all agencies with clients needing respite care regardless of age or need.

VCC Mission: The VCC will work passionately to improve the experience of caregiving through education, advocacy and access to resources.

VCC Vision: All Virginia caregivers will be valued, respected and supported, and will have easy access to information, education and services.

Our Goal: Build a statewide infrastructure of coordinated and accessible caregiver respite resources for families providing support to individuals of any age and/or with any disability or chronic condition. Judiciously work to evaluate existing respite entities and develop a regional and local infrastructure for the use and delivery of respite services and a sustainable foundation for lifelong respite services.



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Liz Havenner
Program Coordinator
Phone: (804) 662-7671


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Virginia Division for the Aging
of the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services
1610 Forest Avenue, Suite 100, Henrico, VA 23229
Phone (local): (804) 662-9333, Toll Free 1-800-552-3402 (Nationwide)
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FAX: (804) 662-9354
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