Comfort Life - Your guide to retirement & care

Respite Care

Short term help offers caregivers a break, along with a learning opportunity

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When families or seniors require respite care, retirement homes and home care services are there to help. Temporary living arrangements in a care home — complete with care services and an environment staffed with nursing and medical staff — offers caregivers a break. A brief period of rest offers relief to caregivers who may be only seeking a break or getting out of town for a short period of time. Short term stays are a valuable service offered by retirement residences; stays can range from a 24-hour short stay to a term of several months in a care home. Home care services can also be used to allow caregivers some time away.


There are various kinds of emergencies that can arise that create the sudden need for help. In this case, home care services and/or retirement homes are ready to step in to help. These offer a professional alternative when you have exhausted other possibilities, including extended family, neighbors and other immediate help.

These emergencies can include:

We don't often plan for the worst, but as parents age, families can think ahead to potential situations that may arise. You can try out providers ahead of time so that you're ready when something does happen. It's also a good idea to ask neighbors and others to be aware of potential problems, and gently find out if they have any interest in helping out in your time of need.

Families of elderly people – especially those with dementia – are encouraged to keep a list of emergency contact information, list all medications (including names, dosages, frequency) and medical professionals. Keep this list in a handy place, and have ready access in as many places as you deem necessary.

Further resources:
LHINs in Ontario:


1Based on evaluation by LHIN
2Limited to four weeks per year. See Families may also apply for hardship funding.
3Figures from 2015:

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