Respite for ME Grants First Year Evaluation Report

Maine Eval

Kimberly Snow and Jayne Foley, Catherine Cutler Institute, December 2023  

The 2021 Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan proposed by Governor Mills and approved by the State Legislature, established the Respite for ME Grants pilot program to expand eligibility for respite services beyond existing respite programs. The pilot also provided flexibility in the type of services currently funded. Maine’s five Area Agencies on Aging administered the grant program and assisted caregivers to identify and obtain services to meet their needs such as respite, assistive technology, home modification and repair, chore, self-care, and others. Pilot funds reimbursed the caregivers up to $2,000 for approved services.

The Respite for ME Grants First Year Evaluation Report authors analyzed data to assess the pilot program’s impact on caregiver burden, intent to place, financial strain, and other outcome measures. This evaluation report describes the first year of implementation and the outcomes. The authors found that after receiving Respite for ME Grants services for 90 days, the percentage of caregivers with good or very good health status increased 6%; high stress scores decreased 7%; high depression scores decreased 9%; high financial strain decreased 13%; negative impacts on job performance decreased 16%, and 50% of caregivers had lower overall burden scores.