What exactly is respite care and who can benefit from it? Respite care provides temporary relief to both Families and caregivers, allowing them to rest and relax; engage in other daily activities; cope with additional daily responsibilities; and grow and stabilize the Family unit. In addition, respite care services can be targeted to specific disabilities.

The Fort Jackson Exceptional Family Member Program is currently offering respite care services to Family members with special needs who are enrolled in EFMP. In order for a Family member to qualify to receive respite care services, the Family member must meet specific medical criteria.

Each qualifying member is eligible to receive a maximum of 25 hours of respite per month. Respite care services is Army funded and is free for Army Families.

Presently, the Army funds respite care through Child and Youth Services on a sliding fee scale with hourly rates. Also, Families can select to utilize respite care through the Army respite care central contractor Strategic Resources, Inc.

If you are wondering if you and your Family could benefit from respite care services, ask yourself the following:

Do you have to cancel doctor's appointments because you have to care for a Family member?

Is temporary care difficult to find for your Family member?

Are there chores and other responsibilities around the house that never get done because you are occupied with assisting a Family member?

In the event of an emergency do you have someone you can trust with the care of a Family member?

If you answered yes to any of the following questions then respite care may be a potential resource you and your Family can utilize. For additional information, please call Army Community Service at 751-5256. Army Community Service Exceptional Family Member Program is located in building 9810, Lee Road.

Editor's Note: Part of the information in this article was retrieved from the Military OneSource website.