Date of Publication



Introduction: Respite care is defined as providing the primary caregiver with relief or a reprieve from care commitments on a short-term or emergency basis. Despite a demonstrated interest in and need for respite care programs, our research has shown that scarce resources exist via a statewide dementia respite program administered by Vermont’s five Area Agencies on Aging. Grants are small and many families do not fall within the eligibility requirements. In FY2010, only 290 families across the state met eligibility requirements (physicians’ diagnosis of dementia, income less than 300% of poverty line, unpaid caregiver, primary residence in VT) and were awarded limited funding for the provision of outside care (up to $750.00 each). For many of these families, this money is typically used to provide substitute care when the primary caregiver is not available. To date, there is no true emergency respite program in place for caregivers. This has placed a strain on families and day facilities, particularly when situations arise in which a caregiver is unable to pick up their family member due to an emergency situation. Our goal was to demonstrate the feasibility of a respite program to address this need.


Linda Martinez, RN, Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties

William Pendlebury, MD, University of Vermont College of Medicine


Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties


Access to Health Services, Educational and Community-Based Programs, Older Adults


Presented at 139th APHA Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, October 31, 2011 as "Emergency and Scheduled Respite Care for Caregivers of Persons with Dementia"

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License