Respite Breakroom: A How-to-Guide for Faith & Community Organizations

Developed by the South Carolina Respite Coalition and the SC Department on Aging.

A Respite Breakroom is a faith- or community-based respite model designed to give a family caregiver a break from their caregiving responsibilities so they can rest, relax and recharge. It is a respite site, a physical space, staffed primarily by volunteers, where family caregivers can bring their loved one with special needs to participate in activities and socialize with others in a safe, comfortable, and engaging place.

Respite Breakrooms are founded on the belief that respite provided in natural settings is accessible and appealing to the family caregivers and the family member needing care. It offers opportunities for the care receiver to visit with friends or make new ones as well as helping the caregivers expand their “circles of support.” Faith communities like churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, etc., are usually in the neighborhood or close to the family caregiver. Other community options include, but are not limited to, county recreation centers, senior centers, teen centers, etc., when otherwise not in use.

The Respite Breakroom model was developed as part of South Carolina’s Lifespan Respite grant and funded through mini grants to faith and community-based organizations. This manual provides key elements and steps needed by these organizations to establish respite breakrooms.

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