Respite care affords family a chance to regroup

Family caregivers do what they do out of love, but at some point the responsibilities can become overwhelming and exhausting. The best antidote is for them to take time to re-center themselves so they can continue to give their loved ones the time and affection they deserve. In Westchester, New York, the Jewish Home Lifecare Sarah Neuman Center’s Respite Program eases the burden for those family caregivers.


Ida Cavaliere, 74, and her husband live with and care for her sister Anna Lisi, 68, who has a number of health issues that make it impossible for her to live independently. Along with the normal routines of running a household, Mrs. Cavaliere fulfills her sister’s special needs. An Adult Day client at Sarah Neuman since 2001, Lisi knew the toll caring for her was taking on her family. This year, she and the Cavalieres decided to take advantage of another of Jewish Home Lifecare’s service: the Respite Program.

Trusting the Sarah Neuman staff and programming, the Cavalieres were able to take a much-needed, worry-free vacation to Florida, confident that Lisi was safe and happy. Mrs. Cavaliere remarks, “It’s such a sense of freedom from year-round caregiving for my husband and I, and a tremendous relief to know that Anna’s well taken care of.”

Lisi is happy, too. “I love the program and the people,” she says. “They help me and I try to help them.” As Mrs. Cavaliere states, “The fact that Anna likes the program makes me feel good that she’s there—for both our sakes.”

Respite care is a great way to introduce senior living to both the prospective resident and their families. Developed as an opportunity to give family caregivers a break, a well-run program can also deflate the negative portrayal of this environment, take the fear out of transitioning to long-term care and, hopefully, create a mini-vacation of activity and socialization for the family’s loved one.

If your organization offers respite accommodations, have they had an impact on converting respite clients into residents of your community?

An app for caregivers


Former Long-Term Living blogger Anthony Cirillo needs your help. Cirillo is developing a smart phone application designed to help caregivers coordinate care. It also seeks to bring communities of caregivers together and ease their stress. Cirillo is asking caregivers nationally to complete a short online survey here. Share your “Good Stuff.” Send information on your achievements, outstanding personnel, inspirational residents, and more to Executive Editor Sandra Hoban at .

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