One of the services offered by the EFMP is the Respite Care Program, which offers temporary relief to Soldiers and Families enrolled in EFMP, giving them a break from caring for their special needs family member.
"The Respite Care Program is designed for caretakers of persons with disabilities and it is to give them a temporary rest period from the demands of care for that person," said Susan Moyer, manager, EFMP. "It is very difficult for a Family member, especially if the Soldier is deployed, to try to manage the (special needs dependent) all on their own, because it is a 24/7 job."
Respite care is typically provided in the home of the person authorized to receive care. However, on a case by case basis, respite care or other settings such as special needs camps and enrichment programs.
"We aim to reach the top two percent of significant needs exceptional Family members, meaning the ones with very significant health concerns and needs," said Moyer. "Autism is one of the most prevalent diagnoses that we approve respite care for."
Eligibility for the program is based on the EFMP enrollment status and the Family member's medical condition.
Approval for the program is based on the Respite Care Panel reviews and recommends approval or disapproval of all submissions for respite care to the garrison commander, who is the decision authority.
Respite care benefits Families because it gives Families a break; some solitude and time away so they can regroup, said Moyer. Caregivers often do not realize that they do themselves-and those in their care-more harm than good by not taking time off.
EFMP provides a maximum of 40 hours of respite care per month for those who qualify. Allocated hours of care depend on a qualified Family member's situation.
"I think its good that the Army recognizes the need for this program, because sometimes Soldiers are the only support for their Family member," said Capt. Wandlyn Robinson, commander, Detachment B, 230th Finance Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade.
When Soldiers worry about care for their Family, it stresses them out, so This program can help them relieve some of that stress, said Robinson.
"I would definitely recommend this program to Soldiers who have Family members with disabilities or special needs," said Robinson. "I think educating commanders and letting Soldiers know about the program when enrolling in EFMP are ways to distribute the information to all levels of the command."
For more information about the EFMP Respite Care Program, call (719) 526-4590, or visit them at their website at http://community.carson.army.mil/ACS/programs_EFMP.html

Page last updated Fri March 15th, 2013 at 14:31