Providing and Receiving Respite Care Safely During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Providing and Receiving Respite Care Safely During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Voluntary National Guidelines for Respite Care Agencies, Providers, Family Caregivers, and Respite Care Recipients

Principal Author:¬† ¬†Kim E. Whitmore, PhD, RN, CPN, Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin ‚Äď Madison, and Founder and Chief Change Officer of Ujima United, LLC

Read More about Providing and Receiving Respite Care Safely During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Read more from the Administration for Community Living about the importance of boosters for everyone, but especially for older adults and people with disabilities an their caregivers.  Download the flyer.

Deciding When It's Safe to Provide or Receive Respite Care

Decision Graphic

The Decision-Making Process

The decision to resume respite services is a continuous process that involves thorough assessment, detailed planning, ongoing monitoring,and regular reassessment. Individuals and agencies must carefullyconsider all potential risks, benefits, and barriers before making aninformed decision. It is important to remember that information and guidance related to COVID-19 is evolving rapidly. Additionally, depending on where you are located, the risk for exposure may vary and change over time. As a result, it is important to continually monitor and regularly reassess the safety of providing and receiving respite care. You may need to resume services in a step-wise or phased approach and you should be prepared to stop providing or receiving respite care services as the situation changes. It is important that all individuals involved in providing and receiving respite care feel comfortable with the decision and are kept in close communication regarding any changes.

Decision Guides

To help respite agencies and families decide when to resume respite services, we developed a Respite Agency Decision Guide and a Family Decision Guide that can be used along with the information in the Voluntary National Guidelines to help inform the decision-making process. You can download fillable PDF forms of the Respite Agency Decision Guide and Family Decision Guide. The forms are customizable with an agency name.

Sample Policy and Procedure Forms

More COVID-19 Resources

Case Studies from ARCH - Providing and Restarting Respite Safely During the Pandemic


ARCH wishes to thank Monica Uhl, ARCH Consultant, for interviewing the respite program directors and preparing the case studies, and Norma McReynolds for her  beautiful layout of both the guidelines and the case studies. Many thanks to the respite programs that participated and were willing to share both their successes and challenges.

* These respite programs have been recognized by ARCH as Innovative and Exemplary.