Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Respite Care?
Respite care, whether on a planned or emergency basis, is simply a break from caregiving. Respite is designed to serve caregivers and families who are caring for people of any age with disabilities or other special needs. The respite care can be provided in the home of the care receiver, or in an alternate setting.

An excellent resource about Respite is linked here: ABC's of Respite

2. Does the Respite Care Coalition provide Respite services? 

No. We are an advocacy group made up of caregivers and professionals who are working to increase both the overall availability of and quality of respite care services here in Maryland. To find respite services, we encourage you to visit the Maryland Department of Human Services website or see this list

3. What is a Respite Care Coalition?

Most State Respite Coalitions are grassroots membership organizations that are made up of volunteers who work together to achieve common goals around achieving affordable, accessible, and quality respite care. In Maryland, our coalition is informal, though there may be new opportunities to make the group more formal. 

4. What is Maryland doing about offering more and better Respite Care services? 

In 2016, the Maryland  Department of Human Resources (now called Department of Human Services) and Maryland Caregiver Support Coordinating Council (now called Maryland Commission on Caregiving)applied for and was awarded a federal grant from the Administration on Community Living. The project includes plans to expand access to respite services on an emergency basis, to offer more training, increase the numbers of qualified volunteer respite providers, and to improve access to services. Coalition members frequently communicate with the Council to ensure caregiver voices are being heard when it comes to Respite Care. 

5. Does the Respite Care Coalition offer funding for Respite? 

No, we are an all volunteer group with no direct funding, but we are going to be working very closely with the Maryland Commission on Caregiving as they begin to implement new services for caregivers. The Commissionis a different entity that is mandated by law to address caregiver issues. State government employees and elected officials serve on the Council. The Coalition works to ensure that the Council understands the issues as it related to Respite Care. 

6. How can I find respite care in my community?

To find respite services, we encourage you to visit the Maryland Department of Human Services website or see this list

7. Who joins Respite Care Coalitions? 

Anyone who wants to join us and offer their ideas, talents, and time. Our members may include members such as: family caregivers, professionals who serve families or individuals with any disability regardless of age, community and faith-based organizations, and respite and other human service providers. 

8. What is the Maryland Respite Care Coalition looking for? 

We are currently welcoming all new members, particularly family caregivers. A family caregiver is anyone who spends their time caring for a family member who needs their help. Family caregivers provide a valuable service and are often not paid for their care. Caregiving can be stressful and tiring. The Maryland Respite Care Coalition  is hoping to hear from a range of caregivers from around the state so we can have our voices heard. 

9. What do Respite Care Coalitions do? 

Since the Coalition in Maryland has been inactive for a number of years, we are looking to "re-boot" our meetings and find new members who will help shape the directions we take. In the past, we have organized and held annual "Respite Awareness Days," which brings light to the need for respite in our community. Also, the state of Maryland just received a grant to provide a number of new respite services. We will be an important voice to communicate with the team that manages that project and ensure caregivers' needs are represented. 

10. How can I help?

If you are a caregiver, even if you have never used respite services, we'd love to hear from you. We hope you can join us for a meeting and share your ideas and experiences with us. Check out our Contact page. 

11. When and where are meetings held? 

Beginning in 2017, in-person meetings will be held quarterly on a Tuesday morning. There may also be smaller committees that meet more frequently throughout the year or intermittent conference calls. We are aiming to have one meeting each quarter in a different part of the state: Western, Southern, Central, Eastern Shore, so that we can ensure geographic representation. 

12. How important is Respite Care? 

The Maryland Caregiver Support Coordinating Council did a survey in 2014-2015 in Maryland and with more than 1,700 people responding, respite care was cited as the #1 most important need by caregivers!