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What is Respite Care?

Millions of Americans provide unpaid assistance each year to elderly family, friends, and neighbors to help them remain in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. Sometimes these caregivers need time off to relax or take care of other responsibilities. This is where respite care can be helpful. It provides the -family caregivers with the break they need, and also ensures that their elderly loved one is still receiving the attention that he or she needs.

No one can expend their energy, strength, and time giving to someone else, especially in the demanding role of family caregiver, without replenishing their own reserves.  Sooner or later, something has to give.  Respite care brings temporary relief to primary caregivers from the continuing demands of someone with special needs.  Respite care may be planned or emergency, in home or elsewhere, for a few hours or perhaps a couple of weeks.  The purpose of respite is to allow the caregiver to rest, recharge, and remember that there is life beyond caregiving.  Respite is about you.

Respite care is not all the same. Respite can vary in time from part of a day to several weeks. Respite encompasses a wide variety of services including traditional home-based care, as well as adult day care, skilled nursing, home health, and short term institutional care. More specifically respite care may take any one of the following forms:

  • Adult Day Care: These programs are designed to provide care and companionship for frail and disabled persons who need assistance or supervision during the day. The program offers relief to family members or caregivers and allows them the freedom to go to work, handle personal business or just relax while knowing their relative is well cared for and safe.
  • Informal and Volunteer Respite Care: This is as simple as it sounds. It is accepting help from other family members, friends, neighbors, or church volunteers who offer to stay with the elderly individual while you go to the store or run other errands. Sometimes your local church group or area agency on aging (AAA) will even run a formal “Friendly Visitor Program” in which volunteers may be able to provide basic respite care, as well. Many communities have formed either Interfaith Caregiver or Faith in Action Programs where volunteers from faith-based communities are matched with caregivers to provide them with some relief.
  • In-home respite care: Generally speaking, in-home respite care involves the following four types of services for the more impaired older person:
    1. Companion services to help the family caregiver supervise, entertain, or just visit with the senior when he or she is lonely and wants company.
    2. Homemaker services to assist with housekeeping chores, preparing meals, or shopping.
    3. Personal care services to help the aged individual bathe, get dressed, go to the bathroom, and/or exercise.
    4. Skilled care services to assist the family caregiver in tending to the senior’s medical needs, such as when administering medications.

Respite Care in Niagara County

If you are an individual caring for a loved one at home, you might want to consider a Respite Care Program.  Respite is defined as an interval of relief and rest, a period when you can go on vacation, attend to personal business or recuperate from a surgery or illness.

Listed below are several facilities that offer overnight service but you must call ahead to see about availability and cost. Remember that insurance does not cover this so it is private pay.


Elderwood at Grand Island

2850 Grand Island Blvd.

Grand Island,  NY



Elderwood at Wheatfield

2600 Niagara Falls Blvd.

Wheatfield, NY 14304



Lockport Presbyterian Home

305-327 High St.

Lockport, NY 14094



Northgate Health Care Facility

7264 Nash Rd

North Tonawanda, NY 14120



Odd Fellows Nursing Home

104 Old Niagara Road

Lockport, NY 14094



Alternate forms of respite include: Adult Day care programs where a person goes to a site and they can get meals, entertainment, crafts and some personal care, exercise therapeutic activities and in home personal care services where someone comes into the home and can help with personal care and light housekeeping. Some suggestions follow. You can go to the Office for the Aging web site and see our Resource Guides for Adult Day Programs; Companionship, friendly visiting, telephone reassurance; and Home health Care private duty nursing services.  The Alzheimer’s Association is a good resource for information and they may provide some respite at their facility.


Alzheimer's Respite Care Program

St. Paul's Episcopal Church

400 Ridge St., P.O. Box 354

Lewiston, NY  14092


Third Wednesday of every month from 11:30 - 3:00 PM



DeGraff Adult Day Care

3780 Commerce Court, Suite 100

North Tonawanda, NY 14120



Guildcare Day Care

4520 Military Road

Niagara Falls, NY 14305



Complete Senior Care

1302 Main Street

Niagara Falls, NY 14301

285-8228 ext. 111


Memory Minders

The Dale Association

33 Ontario Street

Lockport, NY 14094



Senior Companion

1302 Main Street

Niagara Falls, NY 14301

258-8224 ext. 217


Alzheimer's Association Western New York
2805 Wehrle Drive, Suite 6, Williamsville, NY 14221