Lifespan Respite

Lifespan Respite is no longer accepting voucher applications for this fiscal year.  In the event of a caregiver emergency situation prior to July, contact Pat Guarnieri at 828-265-5434 ext. 139 to see if any options might be available.  Please check our website in mid-July to determine when we expect to begin accepting new applications again!

What is Respite?

Respite is a break for unpaid caregivers who provide ongoing care for an individual of any age who needs help, care, or supervision due to disability, chronic condition, or other special needs. Respite is intended to provide relief to the caregiver and 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 in a calendar year. 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.  The final application step is for the caregiver to provide their signature on the Caregiver Certification - either via electronic signature when email is provided or as a hard copy to be sent via mail when no email is provided in the Lifespan Respite Voucher Program application.  


  • Caregiver must be at least 18 years old and a North Carolina resident.
  • Caregiver must be providing unpaid care for an individual of any age.
  • Neither caregiver nor care recipient can be receiving ongoing, publicly funded in-home services or other respite care, including adult day care services. Those who are on waiting lists for these services are eligible for Lifespan Respite Vouchers. (See list of examples of publicly-funded respite services (PDF).)
  • Priority is given to:
    • Caregivers with the greatest economic need.
    • Caregivers who provide direct care for their loved one.
    • Caregivers who have not received a publicly-funded respite break within 6 months of submission of application. (Applications not meeting this criteria will be considered if there are emergency or extenuating circumstances.)
  • 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.
  • Family caregiver completes Caregiver Certification form.
  • 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.

Helpful forms

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