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VA Caregiver Support Program

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Caregiver Support Program (CSP) - Highlighted Resource for the Month - July

July Resource of the month - Respite

Respite is a period of rest or a break from caregiving. Whether it's for a few hours or a few days, respite can help caregivers take time for themselves. The Caregiver Support Program encourages every caregiver to incorporate respite into their lives.   
download buttob Resource of the Month for Caregivers Support: Respite Care (PDF)

Types of Respite:

There are two types of respite, informal and formal.

Informal Respite Includes:

Non-paid help from friends or loved ones.
For example:
A Veteran’s longtime friend - who might visit them once a week to talk and play
An adult child – who might provide the Veteran’s care while you attend your own medical appointment.
A neighbor - who helps you with grocery shopping or mowing your lawn.

Self-guided respite
Self-guided respite is the practice of building a self-focused activity into your normal day. An example of this could be waking up before the Veteran you provide care for, to engage in an activity that attends to your spiritual or physical health. It could be as simple as taking a few moments to meditate or pray, do yoga, take a walk, or read a book.

Formal Respite Care:

Formal respite care is short-term paid assistance from a professional. Respite care can be used to take a break, run errands, or take a vacation. Respite Care can be helpful to Veterans of all ages, and their caregivers. Please note, this tip sheet primarily focuses on formal respite care.

How Formal Respite Care Works: 

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers caregivers two formal respite care options through the Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care (GEC).

  1. Home Respite Care is a service that pays for a person to come to a Veteran’s home or for a Veteran to go to an adult day health care program for a short period of time.
  2. Nursing Home Respite Care is a service that pays for a Veteran to go to a nursing home while you take time for yourself. Nursing home respite may take place in a VA Community Living Center or a community nursing home and is available for a maximum of 30 days each calendar year. This type of respite should be scheduled in advance.

Benefits of Respite:

Helps to prevent burn-out.
Supports self-care for caregivers.

Advantages of Respite:

Allows caregivers to take a break and recharge.
The Veteran you care for is in a safe and caring environment.

Learn more information about Respite:


Need Help?

Call VA’s Caregiver Support Line (CSL) at 1-855-260-3274 to learn more about the support that is available to you, and for assistance connecting with the Caregiver Support Team/Coordinator, at your local VA Medical Center.

VA CSL Expanded hours:
      -Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET
      -Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET

Your local Caregiver Support Coordinator is a licensed professional who can support you by matching you with services for which you are eligible, and providing you with valuable information about resources that can help you stay smart, strong and organized as you care for the Veteran you love.

Subscribe to CSP emails to receive the latest updates, including upcoming events, program initiatives, and special messages from CSP’s Executive Director. Sign up here.