Office for the Aging and Continuing Care

Caregiver Support & Respite


Caregiver Respite is a New York State-funded program that focuses on assisting Caregivers who need temporary relief from the responsibilities of caring for a loved one.  Caregiver Respite is a temporary, one-year program that is given in two, six-month blocks of time. The goal of the program is to provide relief to Caregivers while making sure their loved one’s needs are still being met. There are three levels of service available.

Companion-level care is the most flexible and allows the Aide to assist with light housekeeping, simple meal preparation, and errands/shopping. Companion level also allows for the Aide to provide socialization by simply keeping the client company and mentally stimulated. The Aide is also able to provide rides for shopping errands depending on the agency providing the Aide.

PCA1 allows all the assistance of Companion level care except for simply keeping the client company. PCA1 requires the Aide complete tasks on the Service Plan and basic companionship is not provided under this level of care. PCA1 allows for light housekeeping, simple meal preparation, and errands/shopping. 

Those needing personal care would be considered PCA2 which includes all the tasks of PCA1 and adds in hands-on care such as bathing, assistance with transfers, assistance with dressing/undressing, etc. Aides are not able to dispense medication, however, reminders to take medication are allowed.

During the time respite is in place clients are encouraged to consider how to continue receiving assistance once respite hours end.  Some considerations may include Medicaid, private pay, and/or family/friend assistance. Clients will be placed back on the waitlist for respite; however, it is not certain how long they will be on the waitlist before receiving more respite hours. 

Home modifications such as handicap ramps, handrails, and walk-in showers are available providing no structural, plumbing, or electrical needs to be replaced/repaired.  Three estimates should be obtained by the person needing the work completed. If the property is a rental, a letter of approval will need to be obtained by the client from the landlord. A portion of the cost may need to be paid by the individual based on income.

Three funding grants are available. The grant type used is dependent on the type of services requested.  Alzheimer’s grant funding is only used for Alzheimer’s clients and respite is limited to 120 hours annually.  The Alzheimer’s Sign-In form must be completed to track demographics. Alzheimer’s and Unmet Need funding are only to be used after all other options for care have been explored, including home modifications. Most care will fall under IIIE funding, however, this will, again, be determined by the services being requested.

Overnight respite is available for a maximum of 5 days to individuals who do not currently have Medicaid.

The tools on Caregiving Basics can be helpful in determining when to ask for help. Take some time to fill out the National Caregivers Library's Caregiver Self-Assessment Questionnaire and contact the Oneida County Office for the Aging at 315-798-5456 to begin receiving some relief from the sometimes-overwhelming task of being a Caregiver.

Do you need someone to keep you company? One of these adorable animatronic pets may be just what you are looking for! No feeding, litterbox, bathing, or walks in the middle of the night. These pets are available to those who receive services through the Office for the Aging and meet the qualifications for adopting a kitty or puppy. You can see more about these cuties at this link

Oneida County Partners