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Choosing a Respite Provider

Selecting a respite provider is an important decision for family caregivers. It is essential to vet providers and ask questions to determine that it is the right fit for the person receiving care and for the family caregiver's peace of mind. 

When family caregivers devote so much time to their loved one, it can be difficult to entrust that care to a stranger. Family caregivers can diminish this fear by doing some research and vetting to make sure their care provider is a quality fit. 

Many agencies provide training and education to their respite providers. However, in the state of Colorado there is not a standardized required certification for respite providers, meaning training levels and abilities can vary. 


Hiring a Respite Agency Hiring an independent provider
Respite agencies may be for- or non-profit organizations that provide a range of respite services. Most agencies have general training and conduct requirements for all staff. Independent providers give a range of respite care services on their own accord, without being attached to of a wider agency. Training and experience levels are dependent entirely on the individual provider.
Questions to ask a respite agency: Steps to follow when hiring an independent provider:
(1) How are the workers selected and trained?
(2) Are background checks performed?
(3) What tasks can be performed by the respite worker? Do these align with the needs of the prospective client?
(4) Will the respite provider engage in or offer activities or companion services requested by the person in care?
(5) What hours and days are services available?
(6) If the provider will be driving the individual receiving care, do they have a valid driver’s license?
(7) What is the eligibility process?
(8) What are the fees and how are they paid? What funding sources are accepted?
(9) How are emergencies and problems handled?
(10) Are references available?
(1) Conduct a telephone screening
(2) Follow up with an in-person interview
(3) Ask for references and documentation of training or credentials
(4) Assess whether the provider is trained and capable of administering medications, assisting with medical tasks, or daily living needs, if necessary. Are they experienced and comfortable in handling the unique needs of the individual receiving care?
(5) Determine if they are willing to engage in or offer activities or companion services requested by the person receiving care
(6) If the provider will be driving the individual receiving care, do they have a valid driver’s license and necessary auto liability?
(7) Check references and conduct a criminal background check, or make sure that one was performed recently
(8) Evaluate costs and financing, including rate of pay and how payment will be administered
(9) Complete a contract that provides specific details of care plan and service provision

Source: ABCs of Respite: A Consumer Guide for Family Caregivers. ARCH National Respite Network And Resource Center. 2017.

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Colorado Respite Coalition
393 S Harlan St, Ste 108
Lakewood, CO 80226

303-233-1666 Phone
303-233-1028 Fax

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