Lifespan Respite

What is Respite?

Respite is planned or emergency care provided to a care recipient for the purpose of providing temporary relief to the family caregiver. Respite services may be provided in a variety of settings including the family home, adult day centers, or residential care facilities. Respite is a key component in protecting the health and well-being of the family caregiver and his or her care recipient.

North Carolina Lifespan Respite Program

north carolina lifespan respite projectThe North Carolina Lifespan Respite Program is an application-based program that reimburses eligible family caregivers caring for individuals of any age for up to $500 in respite care services, annually. Funding is limited and applications are accepted only when funds are available.

Applicants must be referred to the program by a local professional organization. The professional organization (referring agency) will complete the online application on behalf of the family caregiver.


  • Caregiver must 18 years and older and providing unpaid care for an individual of any age.
  • Care recipient is generally not eligible for, and not currently receiving services from, other programs, such as CAP or CAP/DA.
  • Successful applicants are generally not eligible for other available respite programs.
  • Priority is given to:
    • Those with the greatest social and economic needs
    • Those who have not received a break within 6 months of submitting the application
    • Families who have no other ongoing in-home assistance
  • Applicants must be able to use voucher funds within 90 days.

Application process

  • Family caregiver is referred to the program by a professional organization (referring agency).
  • Referring agency completes online application form on behalf of the family caregiver.
  • Application is processed by the High Country Area Agency on Aging (HCAAA).
    • HCAAA provides additional instruction and required paperwork.
  • Family caregiver must be able to:
    • Pay for services in advance if bill arrives prior to reimbursement. Reimbursement check will be mailed within five (5) business days of receipt of completed paperwork from caregiver.
    • Screen and hire respite provider.
    • Complete required paperwork (Private Provider Agreement, Record of Respite Service).
    • Submit required paperwork within 14 days from expiration date noted on award letter.
  • Referring agency must join the NC Lifespan Respite Coalition – membership is free.

For additional information on the North Carolina Lifespan Respite Program, contact Pat Guarnieri at 828-265-5434 ext. 139 or