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What is Respite?

Everyone needs a break. Respite care provides care partners a temporary rest from caregiving, while the person with Alzheimer's or related dementia continues to receive care and meaningful engagement in a safe environment. Utilizing respite services can support and strengthen your ability to be a caregiver. Caregiving is demanding — and it's normal to need a break.

Respite care can provide:

  • A chance to spend time with other friends and family, or to just relax
  • Time to take care of errands such as shopping, exercising, getting a haircut or going to the doctor
  • Comfort and peace of mind knowing that the person with dementia is spending time with another caring individual

Free Community Respite Social Programs in WNY

Community social respite programs offer social companionship, meaningful activities, and active engagement for individuals living with dementia. More than 20 different programs run monthly throughout WNY by trained volunteers. They provide one-to-one social companionship, a safe place to connect with others facing a similar journey, and time to unwind. For care partners, these programs offer time to tend to their own needs. For a complete list with each program's contact information, view our Dementia Caregiver Respite list or the General Caregiver Support and Respite list (not specific to those living with Alzheimer's or dementia).

Temporary Respite Funding 

Temporary respite relief is available to families impacted by Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia through the Alzheimer’s Association WNY Chapter and the Offices for the Aging with funding support by the New York State Department of Health. 
Caregivers may choose the type of respite care that is best for their situation. Options vary by county and may include in-home services, adult day program, consumer-directed personal assistance or overnight stays in a residential facility. To learn more about temporary respite relief eligibility and options in your area, contact your local Office for the Aging.

Allegany County Office for the Aging
Contact: Lynn Oyer 585.268.9390
Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging
Contact: Kayla Chesebro 716.373.8032
Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services
Contact: Jennifer Ellman 716.753.4582
Erie County Department of Senior Services/NY Connects
Contact: 716.858.8526
Genesee County Office for the Aging
Contact: Laurie Watson 585.343.1611
Niagara County Office for the Aging
Contact: Cathy Hummel 716.438.3030
Orleans County Office for the Aging
Contact: Samantha Koons 585.589.3191
Wyoming County Office for the Aging 
Contact: Tanya Ludwig