Respite Care

Respite is defined as “temporary relief for family caregivers from ongoing responsibility of caring for an individual of any age with special needs” (Tipler, 2010). This program will allow caregivers to take some time off from caring for a loved one.

In an effort to assist the primary care takers of children and adults who have uncontrolled seizures, the Epilepsy Foundation Western/Central Pennsylvania (EFWCP) offers a temporary respite care program.

Why Use Respite Care?

The physical, emotional, and financial consequences for a caregiver can be overwhelming without some support. Many caregivers have jobs or other duties in addition to providing care. Respite care can offer a caregiver time to reduce stress and meet personal needs. Some caregivers may use respite care for:

  • spending time with friends / family
  • rest and relaxation
  • shopping or running errands
  • attending to illness or doctor appointments
  • a vacation or a trip
  • exercise or physical fitness

It is normal to have concerns about allowing someone new to care for a loved one. The nurses who provide respite care are well trained and offer a high level of care. You do not have to do it all on your own. The EFWCP is here to help you.

Who will provide the care?

Working with the EFWCP staff, you will choose a respite care provider that can meet your needs, age, location, etc. When you have chosen a provider, the EFWCP will authorize funding for respite care services. Payment for services will be made only to and directly to the provider of the services.

Respite care services are provided ONLY for the applicant. Other accommodations should be made for anyone else who may be present during the time of service. For example, if you have other children present who may need child care or babysitting services, they will need separate accommodations.

How many hours of care are provided?

A limit of 25 hours of care can be given to each person in a 1-year time frame. This program will provide the caregiver with a break for themselves. *This program does NOT provide long-term care. The EFWCP will make every effort to find another source of services but makes no promises that long-term care can be secured. This is a temporary program and may not become a permanent service of the EFWCP.

Where does the care take place?

The respite care services are provided in the applicant’s home to assist the primary caregiver. The services may vary depending on the provider.

Who is eligible for care?

  • The program applicant must live in the EFWCP Western/ Central Pennsylvania service area (see map of counties).
  • The program applicant should have an active diagnosis of epilepsy/seizure disorder documented by a physician.

How to apply:

  1. The caregiver must fill out the application form. All completed forms should be sent to the Epilepsy Foundation Western/Central PA. An electronic form may be sent to you upon request.
  2. The program applicant’s physician must provide a letter that indicates a diagnosis of epilepsy or seizure disorder, and a recommendation for respite care services. The physician can either be the neurologist or a primary care provider. The physician should currently be providing medical care for the applicant’s seizures/epilepsy and have full knowledge of the applicant’s seizure history. The letter can either be sent directly by the health care provider to the EFWCP or the caregiver may send it to the EFWCP after receiving it from the physician.
  3. Services must be requested far enough in advance of the respite date to allow for pre-approval.
  4. The caregiver for the program applicant will be asked to complete a pre-service and post-service survey so that the EFWCP can measure outcomes and improve the quality of our program. (This information will only be used by the EFWCP. The EFWCP does not trade, rent, sell or share the names, addresses or emails of our constituents.)
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