Need to catch your breath?

Respite services are designed to free you from the responsibilities associated with your role as a caregiver. Here’s how to access them.


What is respite?

As a caregiver, you assume many roles, and the responsibilities you have are demanding. It’s normal to feel the need to catch your breath at times. Respite allows you to take some time off while a trained person takes care of the person you are caring for in your absence. Whether it is a one-time, regular or even extended respite, the goal is to:

  • reduce stress and physical and emotional fatigue;
  • free up caregivers from the responsibilities associated with their caregiving role;
  • take time out and participate in various activities to replenish their energy and help without burning out.

It is important to differentiate between respite and caretaking. Caretaking or presence-supervision is offered by people who monitor, without having received specific training.

Primary respite services

  • Temporary accommodation in a public or private facility. In the public sector, the maximum stay is generally 21 days. During this stay, people benefit from the professional services of the residence and have the option to participate in activities;
  • The Baluchon Alzheimer’s respite care service offers a long-term respite care service subsidized by the government for people with Alzheimer’s disease or a related illness. A trained caregiver comes to live in the home of the person being cared for 24 hours a day;
  • The day centre, also known as a “drop-in” centre, is usually available one or two days a week. The person being cared for benefits from adapted therapeutic, physical and social activities, as well as a meal service. The activities take place in a group setting;
  • In-home respite care. The person being cared for is taken care of in their home for a few hours by a trained attendant so that the caregiver can leave the house. Fees vary depending on the organization and services may or may not be subsidized;
  • Accessory respite. In-home respite, day centre respite or drop-in respite can also be provided as an accessory respite while the caregiver participates in an activity of an organization, a support group, a leisure activity in a volunteer centre or a training session for caregivers (in French only).

How do I access respite care services?

In the majority of cases, the request must be made to the appropriate CLSC support coordinator in the region of residence of the person being assisted. The CLSC coordinator handles the evaluation of the needs and necessary documents, and provides the details of the application process. If you do not have an active file at the CLSC, you can register with them.

Some respite services can also be offered by:

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Need to talk?

Contact our Caregiver Support Helpline for counselling, information and referrals.

Every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Free of charge.

call  Caregiver info :  1 855 852-7784