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 Care Program

north carolina lifespan respite projectThe North Carolina Lifespan Respite Care 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 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 12 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 Care Program, contact Pat Guarnieri at 828-265-5434 ext. 139 or