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Respite for Caregivers

The Brain Injury Alliance recognizes and celebrates the individuals who provide care and support to those living with Brain Injury. We are passionate about the role you play and understand it is fundamental to the success of those we serve. Research indicates that caregivers supporting individuals with brain injury are at a greater risk for experiencing burnout. Therefore, the Brain Injury Alliance, in coordination with Lifespan Respite Washington, has come together to assist unpaid caregivers to achieve their respite needs.

Respite is a fancy term for "taking a break!". It is a short but vital break from difficult situations and plays a significant role in alleviating:

  • Stress
    • Stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stress can be external (from the environment, psychological, or social situations) or internal (illness, or from a medical procedure) and can impact our quality of life and mental health (

  • Burnout
    • Burnout is considered to be the worst possible scenario, but it can occur if one ignores the need for breaks and self care. That is why we are passionate about assisting care providers getting the rest they need. “Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.” It often occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and are unable to meet life's constant demands. Furthermore, if burnout goes untreated, it has the potential to lower your immunity to disease, impact your mental health and lead to disengagement. One way to alleviate Burnout is to find some time to yourself. Respite is one way this is achieved.

  • Negative feelings or fatigue
    • A negative emotion is best described as anger, frustration, guilt, nervousness and fear. Negative emotions often shape your experiences, environment, and impact your mental health.
    • Fatigue impacts your social and emotional wellness. It is best defined as extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion.

And works to promote:

  • Positive mental health
  • Regeneration
  • Mental clarity
  • Increase in ability to remain a caregiver longer without impacts on your health

There is no one definition to how respite is achieved. It could be shopping alone for an hour or two, a short vacation, or taking time to yourself. To meet this need, Lifespan Respite Washington is offering up to $1000 in vouchers to assist UNPAID family caregivers with their respite needs who meet the following qualifications:

  • You provide 40 or more hours of unpaid care per week (taking your care receiver to the grocery store, helping them get dressed, preparing meals, assisting and helping with other activities of daily living, providing constant supervision and/or vigilance) to an adult or child with special needs
  • You (the caregiver) and the care receiver must reside in Washington state
  • The care receiver is not enrolled in a Medicaid or other program that provides respite service, unless on a wait list and not scheduled to receive services within 30 days of application; and
  • You are unable to afford paying for respite services on your own

Depending on your specific needs, a Respite Voucher can assist with overnight care, adult day programs, day camps or camp for your child, assist with plan or emergent care, and much more. Follow this link to learn more about PAVE and how they support unpaid caregivers in Washington State

This presentation is intended for those who provide daily support or care to an individual living with brain injury. Within, we focus on your role as a Care Provider; discuss balance, self care, and why it is important; identify networks of support that may be available to you; define respite and the importance of taking breaks, and discover what programs are available to assist you. 

Taking Care of Yourself While Taking Care of Others - PDF

This presentation is tailored for professionals who are searching for more information about assisting individuals living with brain injury in their communities. This content is intended for those who are looking to define what brain injury is, what it is not, concussion management, common signs and symptoms, who brain injury effects, how brain injury effects the lives of those we serve, and for those looking to identify helpful strategies for success within their professional roles.

Providing Respite For Those Individuals Living With Brain Injury - PDF

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