ARCH promotes respite for the nation's 65 million family caregivers to enhance their well-being and avoid or delay out-of-home placements.
Every day ARCH receives calls from family caregivers who are on the verge of collapse because they have not had help or a break from their 24/7 caregiving responsibilities. If they have a child with a disability or an aging parent with Alzheimer's, the caregiving experience may have been ongoing for ten years or more and they may never have had a break to go to church, mosque or synagogue, their own doctor's appointments, or to spend time with other family members. Most family members provide this care out of love and commitment and derive great spiritual and emotional satisfaction from their caregiving roles. But the demands of caregiving can take a toll physically and emotionally, leaving family turmoil and stress in its wake. Respite has been shown to alleviate this stress, improve the quality of life for the family caregiver, and to help avoid or delay more costly foster care, hospitalization and nursing home placements.