Respite care addresses one of the most pressing needs of family caregivers— temporary relief from caregiving tasks. It is the service strategy most commonly offered to support family caregivers and is available in all 50 states. However, definitions of respite vary among programs and states, and quality and completeness of reported data are often lacking, making rigorous comparison among states impossible.
This report, produced by the AARP Public Policy Institute with support from The SCAN Foundation and The Commonwealth Fund as a follow-on piece to Raising Expectations: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers, describes the main sources of publicly funded respite care and presents data for the year 2007. The data were not complete, accurate, or comparable enough to include in the Scorecard, and should not be used for comparative purposes.