Respite Care

What is Respite Care?

Temporary Placement on a Planned or Emergency Basis

Respite care is the provision of short-term, temporary relief to those who are caring for family members with disabilities. Respite programs provide short-term and time-limited breaks for families and other unpaid care givers of people with a developmental or intellectual disability in order to support and maintain the primary care giving relationship.

At Unity House, our respite services:

  • provide a comfortable, home-like environment for overnight stays
  • give individuals an opportunity to experience independent but supported living, while providing care givers time off from their responsibilities
  • offer individuals an ideal environment that can prepare them to progress towards independent living
  • are structured to allow individuals to simultaneously participate in their community-based programs, such as work, school or day habilitation
  • provide inclusion to all house activities taking place during the respite stay

Overnight service is offered in Auburn or Ithaca. All sites are handicapped-accommodating and feature a welcoming, home-life environment. Supports for respite are tailored to meet the needs of each individual.

Admissions Criteria

Individuals admitted to respite service at Unity House must have an established need for respite, therapeutic stay, trial visit or emergency housing. Each individual must meet the following criteria:

  • eligibility for respite per OPWDD guidelines
  • Medicaid waiver enrolled
  • have a current individual service plan (ISP) and Medicaid Service Coordinator
  • be living with family
  • if referred from an emergency room, must be psychiatrically and medically cleared by clinical staff and attending physician

What Should I Bring?

All living comforts and meals are provided by Unity House. Each person needs only to bring:

  • medications
  • written doctor's orders for medications
  • personal belongings